This very unusual project is intended as a “showcase for global biodiversity and human dependence upon plants.” It made up of 23,000 sq.m. of “linked, climate-controlled transparent capsules (biomes) set in a design landscape.” The budget for this project, which makes use of the same consultants who worked on Grimshaw’s very successful Waterloo International Terminal, was £53 million. Although its objectives might be considered as more far-reaching, it calls to mind the Yamanashi Museum of Fruit designed by Itsuko Hasegawa in Japan, which is also made up of a series of greenhouse Structures. The domes in St. Austell are to be based on lightweight structures with the highest possible volume in relation to their surface. The cladding is made up of “optically clear air inflated foil (ETFE) pillows.” The whole will “give the impression of abiomorphic organism.” Other buildings added to the complex, such as a visitor centre utilizing “earth construction techniques.”
Jodidio P. Building a New Millennium: Architecture Today and Tomorrow. Taschen., 1999. P. 178-179.