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Eden Project, Cornwall, UK

Here is a real paradise on earth! According to a legend, a spider spins a web to catch sinful people, but a well-known architect Nicholas Grimshaw created the arachnoid botanical garden, to “catch” all people who love the Nature. The Eden project or a.k.a. Paradise Garden is an area with two huge enclosures consisting of adjoining domes that house thousands of plant species and the open garden, each with its unique biological diversity of flora. The Eden Project is situated in South West England, in Cornwall. The Project is run by Tim Smit and designed by architect Nicholas Grimshaw, the president of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, and engineering firm Anthony Hunt and Associates. The Project opened to the public on 17 March 2001. The total area of the greenhouses is 22 000m² square. Paradise includes three expo zones, two of which are placed under the transparent shells constructed from geodesic domes, which is supported by an appropriate climate regime and recreated characteristic landscapes, including waterfalls. The Humid Tropics Biome, one of the largest greenhouses in the World, covers 1.56ha and measures 55m high, 100m wide and 200m long. The Mediterranean biome covers 0.654 ha, and height is 35m, width-65m and length-135m. The Outdoor Biome (which is not covered) represents the temperate regions of the world. Each dome is made up of steel tubes with a diameter of 193mm in the form of pentagons and hexagons, and covered with inflated, plastic cells supported by steel frames and made of the thermoplastic ETFE. As compared with the glass, ETFE has the best qualities of thermal insulation, transmits more UV radiation and weighs only 1% of glass. The Eden Project also provides an education facility, incorporating classrooms and exhibition spaces for cultural events, many visitor serving facilities. Here is used sanitized rain water that would otherwise collect at the bottom of the quarry and the energy comes from one of the many wind turbines in Cornwall, which were among the first in Europe. This landmark is visited by almost 2 million people a year.

By Lilit Khalatyan,