Attractions industry news

01 Nov 2021

Eden Project partners with Grimshaw to create pavilion and drone show at COP26

The Eden Project has partnered with architectural practice Grimshaw to create a special pavilion at the COP 26 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

Located in the Blue Zone in the Scottish Exhibition Campus, the Eden Project Pavilion has been designed by Grimshaw as a showcase of – and call to arms for – the actions needed to regenerate the planet.

It harnesses the geodesic design reminiscent of the Eden Project biomes in Cornwall, UK, designed by Grimshaw.

The pavilion version and its collapsed panels reflect the planetary crisis to which COP 26 is aiming to find solutions.

It houses a ‘cabinet of climate curiosities’ – objects that represent the urgent transformations required, which in turn have nurtured an ecosystem within the dome: plants climb up and in through the cracks as biodiversity once more returns.

The Pavilion creates a "narrative of hope and positive change", recognising the potential the COP 26 has to heal the planet.

The structure was fabricated and constructed by Sir Robert McAlpine and uses only materials that have been grown, reused or recycled.

While visually creating a metaphor for the planetary emergency, Grimshaw's design is inspired by nature: minimum materials for maximum strength, with the reused plywood structure supporting the abundant planting and exhibit elements.

The recycled and reused materials have been sourced from local construction sites and from the stage used for the outdoor Eden Sessions concerts in Cornwall.

David Harland, CEO, Eden Project International, said: "We're honoured to be part of this hugely important event and hope that visitors to the Eden Project Pavilion will be entertained and enlightened in equal measure.

"We're very proud of what we've achieved, alongside our partners at Grimshaw and Sir Robert McAlpine particularly, and hope that COP26 will mark a new era of global cooperation to tackle the environmental challenges that all of us as Earthlings face."

Andrew Whalley, chair, Grimshaw, added: “The design of the biomes at Eden Project Cornwall was driven by care for our natural habitats and the environment.

"Bringing this design approach to the COP26 conference as part of the Eden Project Pavilion will carry this ethos to delegates and world leaders and highlight the design and construction industry’s role in tackling the climate and biodiversity challenge.”

The concept of the Pavilion has its origins in the Next Generation Design project – a two-day workshop on architecture and engineering led by Scale Rule, a community interest company focused on working with 11-18-year old students.

In 2020, the winning design from the workshop – where teams create sketches, models, and drawings of their proposals – was Harris Boys’ Academy East Dulwich in London.

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