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Official website: www. This project is, along with the dome and the ferries wheel in London, one of the largest British millennium projects. In an outdoor area of 15 ha, and in two giant greenhouses, the modern Garden of Eden presents different climate zones of the world with their typical vegetation. The steel structure of the two huge domes was developed from the MERO space frame system: pipes are bolted together by means of nodes.
Due to very low tolerances and quick assembly, economical structures can be realised even for complex geometrical configurations. Very light and transparent, but also durable air filled foil cushions were chosen for the cladding system. A cushion system of this size had never been built before. The million Euro project is a great success. Since the official opening in March , thousands of visitors take pleasure in the gardens every day.
The Garden of Eden has been called the eighth wonder of the world by the British press. Beside the outside area there are 4 main buildings. The entrance is located at the top of the clay pit.
Here, several souvenir shops, restaurants and exhibitions are located. About half a million people visited the Eden construction side during May and the official opening in spring of and watch as the complex grew. The main building complex consists of three parts. The diameter is almost m and the free height inside is close to 55 m so that even big jungle trees have enough room to grow up. Here the typical plants of the dry and warm areas like south Africa, California or the Mediterranean area are located.
The humidity and temperature is not as high as in the HTBiomes. These two domes are connected by the Link building which is covered by a grass roof and is therefore almost invisible from the surface. The link building is the entrance to the Biomes. Beside sanitary facilities the visitor can have a rest in restaurants. The central outside area is about 15 ha big. Outside many other plants from different areas of the world can grow due to the mild clime of Cornwall without shelter.
Many other varying attractions and exhibitions make the Eden Project an attractive park for the visitors. Arches and purlins are the basic steel structure for the glazing elements. The disadvantage of this layout was the high steel weight and the small glass elements which blocked too much sun light.
Although this concept was difficult to fit to the varying natural surface of the clay pit. After McAlpine was chosen as general contractor, it was also clear that this steel structure was too expensive to realise. Another concept had to be found. This layout had several benefits. It is easier to fit the structure to the ground surface and the size of the hexagon elements allows more sun light to enter.
The visual appearance a hexagonal geometry is also close to many object found in nature. The next question was how to realise this structure on an economical basis. MERO has realised many complex structure in the past decades all over the world. After some preliminary studies it was found, that the single layered structure in this large dimensions could not be build economically and that the deformation were too large.
The result of this optimisation was a double layered structure with the characteristic hexagonal top chord geometry Fig. As a cladding system of air filled EFTE foil cushions was chosen. The very low weight of this material in contrast to glass allowed a further reduction of the necessary steel weight. This foil material allows much more UV light to pass into the Domes and also provides good heat insulation. This structural concept fulfilled all the required points.
The weight and amount of the steel was minimised, the surface cladding was transparent for the sunlight, the entire interior area is free of columns, the optical appearance is attractive and the structure is economical and fast to be build. In the spring of MERO began with the final technical design for this unique project. Strictly speaking, geodesic lines are curves on any kind of surface and, from the innumerable lines that can connect two points on the surface, they represent the shortest distance between the two points.
In the common geodesic domes, however, structural members are normally made straight, not curved, and only their end points, usually the centres of physical connectors, lie on the surface of a theoretical sphere.
Some other ways to project or map networks on spherical surfaces have been developed by Emde  in Germany, Fuller  in America and Pavlov  in Russia. The majority of spherical geodesic networks in building practice are derived from the platonic solids icosahedron and dodecahedron. An icosahedron is a regular polyhedron with twenty identical faces, which are regular triangles. A dodecahedron is a regular polyhedron with twelve identical faces, which are regular pentagons.
Dodecahedron and icosahedron are duals from each other. If the midpoints of adjacent faces of a polyhedron are connected with lines, the resulting body is the dual of the first one and vice versa. It should be noted that the two polyhedrons placed as duals have a common centre and they can also be positioned concentrically within a circumscribing sphere.
Thus, a geodesic network can be obtained by projecting or mapping in a prescribed way the tessellated faces of the polyhedron onto the surface of the sphere.
Here, external and internal networks are interconnected with a set of lines called diagonals, thus giving rise to a double-layered spherical network with a three-dimensional carrying behaviour. Figure 5 The key steps to generate the Eden-geometry, which are dodeca-ico networks, are shown in Fig.
In Fig. This triangular surface region is the smallest symmetry part of the whole spherical network. Through this approach, it is possible to subdivide the spherical surface in minimal symmetry parts.
The actual specifications of geometric and connectivity properties of the whole network can thus be reduced to this minimal triangle. In the Eden domes, the hexagons were obtained by omitting the appropriate elements of the minimal triangular net. The complete hexagonal network was subsequently generated by reflections and rotations on the surface of the sphere of the minimal network within the characteristic triangle.
The internal tri-hex net is obtained from the corresponding elements in the characteristic triangle. Here, the nodal points of the internal grid are derived from the external line midpoints which have been projected concentrically onto the theoretical sphere carrying the internal grid. The tri-hex net is then generated by connecting the points corresponding to adjacent lines of the hexagonal grid. The inter-layer diagonals are obtained, in turn, by connecting every internal point with the corresponding endpoints of its external source line.
The resulting spatial network strongly resembles the molecular organisation of certain minerals, like the silicates SiO4 as seen in Fig. Among other properties, these natural crystalline formations present minimal energy paths with minimal material consumption. Similarly, the three-dimensional geometric arrangement of the Eden domes makes possible an economic structure with a visually attractive appearance.
The selected cladding of foil pillows required the hexagons to be as planar as possible in order to facilitate the construction and assembly of the supporting edge frame and to prevent unplanned folding and wrinkles on the pillows. Based on the works of Emde , Fuller  and Pavlov , a special algorithm was developed to obtain hexagons as plane as possible within tolerable fabrication and installation deviations.
As an orientation, very homogeneous DI-geodesic networks have uniformity quotients of about 1. Furthermore, alternative networks for the Eden domes with perfectly plane hexagons yield uniformity quotients of up to 2. In these extreme cases, that correspond to the finer subdivided networks, hexagons along the edges of the basis icosahedron tend to present larger distortions with the corresponding disadvantages for the structural system and a disturbing visual effect.
The geometry was transferred into a statical 3D computer model Fig. The top cord elements and the arches are beam elements, the bottom cord and diagonals are modelled using truss elements.
The basic load cases and load combination are according to BS Due to the mild climate in Cornwall the basic snow load is only 0. In addition to the ordinary loads cases, some extraordinary load patterns had to be regarded. In the valleys of the cushions and especially in the valleys of the arches, drifting and sliding show can occur. Local snow loads up to 1. Local load up to kN per hexagon were considered for this case. The performed analysis proved the stability of the structure even when some members failed.
The governing load case for the design was mostly the snow and snow drift load case. Changes in temperature are usually not critical for the stress design of dome structures since they can expand freely in radial direction.
Also, support movements are causing no major forces. Therefore, the domes of Eden are build without any expansion joints. This type of node is an enhancement of the node type used by MERO when circular or rectangular hollow tubes are joined together by bolts. The top of this connection is even with the pipes, so that the cladding can be put right on top of it.
The bowl node is made out of cast iron GGG40 and the weight is about 80 kg. The diameter of the nodes is about mm and the wall thickness is 40 mm. In order to use the same connection to the node, all top chord pipes are the same diameter, but with different wall thickness according to forces and buckling length. Since all the necessary geometrical angles to form a dome are put in the node, the ends of the top chord beams are cut rectangular which allow fast and efficient manufacturing.
At each end, an end-plate is welded and at the top of the beam a erection hole cut Fig. High strength pre-stressed bolts M27 and M36 were used for the connections of the beams to the bowl node. On top of the beams short brackets were welded which support the aluminum framing for the cushions.
The performed stress and stability design lead to diameters between According to the BS Standard the buckling length was limited to They are designed and manufactured according to the MERO technical approval .
The span is up to m for the biggest one. The sections of the arches measure
What is the Eden Project
Layout[ edit ] The Bee Once into the attraction, there is a meandering path with views of the two biomes, planted landscapes, including vegetable gardens, and sculptures that include a giant bee and previously The WEEE Man removed in , a towering figure made from old electrical appliances and was meant to represent the average electrical waste used by one person in a lifetime. Biomes[ edit ] At the bottom of the pit are two covered biomes : The Tropical Biome, covers 1. It is used for tropical plants, such as fruiting banana plants, coffee , rubber and giant bamboo , and is kept at a tropical temperature and moisture level. It houses familiar warm temperate and arid plants such as olives and grape vines and various sculptures. The Outdoor Gardens represent the temperate regions of the world with plants such as tea , lavender , hops , hemp , and sunflowers , as well as local plant species.
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