Following a recent Ask The Architect question (an open session on Friday afternoons where anyone can ask the architect a question (for more information visit Ask The Architect Information)); where the question was ‘What are your favourite buildings?’ – one of my answers was the Eden Project in Cornwall, UK. This blog post isn’t going into detail on the project (for this you can visit The Eden Project); instead this article focusses on why I feel this project is such a success architecturally. The key features will also give a guide to what you should look for in your architectural project:
1. Form Follows Function
The biomes are the perfect enclosure for growing an incredibly wide range of plantation. From the lusciousness and heat of the Rainforest Biome to the dry, chaparal heat of the Mediterranean Biome; both are perfect architectural forms that allows the direct penetration of sunlight at all times of the year.
Following in the pioneering footsteps of Buckminster Fuller, the Biomes are the current ancestor of the geodesic domes proposed in the 1960’s. The platonic. spherical form is almost spiritual in it’s simplicity. The 625 hexagons are also clad in a technological material (ETFE) which allows the transmission of ultraviolet rays.
In 1998 the Eden Project area would have been a soggy disused, claypit (English China Clay). It shows how a barren area can be tranfsormed and developed into probably the most important tourist attraction in Cornwall
4. A big Idea
Following on from 3. the originators of the project dreamt big and the result is what we can see today – the architectural forms are big in size (the Tower of London could fit inside the Rainforest Biome) and also big in concept – as said earlier the domes are almost spiritual in concept and combined with their size shows how a a big idea can be translated into a built form
The simplicity and organicness of the biomes trigger our native instincts; maybe they symbolise frog spawn where the life form (the tadpole) is inside the bubble as the plants are inside the biome!
Food for thought,comments welcome…
(First blog post entirely done by WordPress app on iPhone – if the images don’t come across switch to standard browser mode and click on the Flickr widget in right hand column)