Articles Eden Project Qingdao reaches construction milestone

A major construction milestone has been achieved at the Eden Project in Qingdao in China as the main arch of the project’s centrepiece Storm Forest Biome is complete.

The single-space Biome structure, larger than the interlinked geodesic domes at the Eden Project in Cornwall → in the UK, encloses a planted space of over 27,000 square meters. The destination is themed around water, as the life blood of nature, culture and civilisation, and the Storm Forest Biome will showcase the atmospheric water cycle on a grand scale, demonstrating its importance in an immersive environment.

Construction on Eden Project Qingdao →started in May 2020 and is due to complete in 2023 with the project opening to the public later that year. It will become the first permanent Eden Project outside the UK.

David Harland, Eden Project International Chief Executive, said: “It’s fantastic to see Eden Project Qingdao taking shape. We are hugely grateful for the hard work of the construction team and all of our partners in China. It has been a long journey to get to this point and one in which we have had to overcome various challenges, not least a global pandemic, but hitting this milestone is testament to the talent and dedication of everyone working on this project.

“We’re really excited that the Eden Project’s international ambitions are shaping up so nicely. With our Qingdao project due to open in 2023 and our new UK bases in Morecambe and Dundee set to open the following year, this is a hugely exciting period for Eden.”

"The story of the Eden Project in Cornwall transforming a derelict clay pit into a paradise has attracted me deeply. And now we are writing another story of regenerating alkaline land ecology for Eden Project Qingdao. Apart from that, I am keen to work closely with the Eden Project to bring more to Asian and Chinese audiences. Let’s wait and see!"

Mr Wang Yonggang, General Manager of Qingdao Eden Project

"Eden Project Qingdao continues Grimshaw’s approach of creating beautiful structures inspired by the efficiency of nature, made unique by the specific requirements of the location and theme. We are delighted to continue our collaboration with the Eden Project; working with our local partners has enabled us to deliver this fantastic new visitor destination which will further the Eden Project’s mission to connect people to the natural world."

Jolyon Brewis, Partner, Grimshaw

Eden Project Qingdao was the first project announced as part of the Eden Project’s ambition to open new Edens on every inhabited continent. Taking expertise and experience from Eden Project Cornwall, Eden Project and Grimshaw partnered on the design of Eden Project Qingdao. Following the completion of a key design stage in early summer 2020, Grimshaw and its team of international consultants handed over the coordination and documentation responsibility to CCDI, the Local Design Institute (LDI).

Eden Project Qingdao is positioned on Jiaozhou Bay, surrounded by water and defined by rivers and sea. It is situated on a large area of reclaimed and environmentally damaged land originally used for salt production and then prawn breeding and is located on the confluence of two rivers.

In keeping with its location and environment, the project focuses on the ways in which water, whether too much or too little, affects the planet and the populations it supports. Visitors to Eden Project Qingdao will journey through dramatic landscapes of extreme aridity and water abundance, surrounded by theatrical performances and interactive installations. These will explore different aspects of water - from the microscopic life forms in one drop of water to the thunderclaps of a storm cloud.

The project will showcase the regeneration of the site, bringing the land back in touch with its surrounding water. It will communicate the importance of water and the ongoing water challenge in a meaningful and fun way and be a positive and optimistic place for environmental and social change.

The Storm Forest will give visitors to Eden Project Qingdao the opportunity to travel up through the clouds and down over waterfalls on an adventure through bioluminescent caves, around steep mountain paths, down to the rainforest below.

It will be a chance to experience the drama and power of the water cycle in action: of big weather systems and how people and plants survive and thrive in a world of abundant water.

In addition to the Storm Forest, Eden Project Qingdao will also be home to the Extremes Zone, which showcases environments where water is scarce, the Quality Zone, which will use live performance to bring issues of water quality to life, as well as a theatrical arena known as the Mist Theatre and meadows and wetlands surrounding the site.

The first Eden Project-designed content outside Cornwall to open to the public made its debut in Terra, The Sustainability Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai last month (October). Eden’s Expo work is at the vanguard of an Eden Project international programme that will see new Edens built in Morecambe in Lancashire, Dundee in Scotland, Anglesea in Australia, Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland and Christchurch in New Zealand among others.

Earlier this month (November), Eden announced its ambition to create its first South American project in the Meta region of Colombia as part of its programme of activities at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.