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The Eden Project

50 Projects for a Better Future - celebrating five decades of projects making a difference
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The Eden Project

Perhaps too few projects set out to inspire a sense of wonder in the end user. But then there are very few projects like the Eden Project. Built in a neglected china-clay pit outside the town of St Austell, Cornwall, the Eden Project’s twin biomes rise out of the earth like some mysterious alien architecture. These domes are actually the world’s biggest greenhouses, and since opening in 2001, now draw around a million people a year. Visitors come not just for the innovative architecture and rainforest flora, but also its education centres and events programme. As a symbol of regeneration – transforming a disused industrial site into a celebration of our interdependence with nature – the original Eden has kick-started a wave of sister projects across five continents.

“If you want to attract the brightest and best to become project managers, you’ve got to make it clear that we’re the enablers who are shaping the future of the world.” – Eden Project co-founder Tim Smit talking to APM’s Project journal

230 miles of scaffolding used to build the biomes

Over £1bn contributed to the Cornish economy

£37.5m of Lottery funding from the Millennium Commission helped build the Eden Project