The architecture of Eden – Hugh Pearman and Andrew Whalley – Main Text

The beginnings of Eden. 

pg 14 – The project was uncharted territory for several reasons, among them the fact that there was no absolute precedent for such a large visitor attraction so far away from the main population centers of the UK. Nor was there anything in the way of comforting instruction books telling you how to build enormous clear-span enclosures on unstable ground against crumbling cliffs that spurted water.

pg 15 – Tim Smit’s horticultural restoration project at nearby Megavissey, adroitly marketed as ‘The Lost Gardens of Heligan’. showed that people will travel great distances to see what he would call a ‘Big Fat Idea’.


(Eden) has to become a place which cannot be experienced all in one go and which does more for more people. In the meantime, getting from concept into physical reality has, among much else, advanced the art and science of architecture and engineering.

Eden is part of architecture’s unending search for transparency and lightness: a quest that can be traced back to the rise of medieval Gothic cathedrals, Which exploited the strength of the pointed arch as a means to dissolve walls, so allowing large areas of glazing made up of innumerable tiny pieces of colored and clear glass.

The quest continued through Tudor times in England with the ‘prodigy houses’ of the Elizabethan architect Robert Smythson – Wollaton, longleat and Hardwick Hall – with their unprecedented deployment of huge areas of glass.

Hardwick Hall 1970 by David Gentleman born 1930



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