Grimshaw Architects is to work on a Chinese version of its Eden Centre eco-resort in Cornwall. The $150m development will be in the coastal city of Qingdao, which is halfway between Shanghai and Beijing in the province of Shandong.
This project fits perfectly with Eden’s key transformation and regeneration themes and brings life to a currently sterile and derelict site. It has the potential to become instantly recognisable worldwide– Sir Tim Smit, co-founder of Eden
The city, which is backed by mountains and surrounded on three sides by the Yellow Sea, is one of the most popular resorts in China, with 63 million visitors a year.
The contract for the centre was signed at the British ambassador’s residence in Beijing over the weekend, in the presence of UK business secretary Sajid Javid. The signatories were the Eden Project, China Jinmao Holdings, the Qingdao High-tech Industrial Development Zone Administration and Qingdao City Construction Investment.
Sir Tim Smit, co-founder of Eden, said: "This is a hugely exciting moment for Eden and its partners in this great venture. The ambition for China Eden is to create a globally renowned and iconic tourism attraction and centre that demonstrates the highest quality sustainable construction practices, just as Eden has in the UK.
"This project fits perfectly with Eden’s key transformation and regeneration themes and brings life to a currently sterile and derelict site. It has the potential to become instantly recognisable worldwide."
Inside the Eden Project (Stevekeiretsu/Wikimedia Commons)
Grimshaw’s original Eden Project (pictured), which is located in a disused clay pit, cost $130m. It houses the largest rainforest in captivity, as well as wildlife, gardens and exhibitions.
Since opening in 2001, more than 16 million people have visited the Eden Project, and it is reckoned to have generated $2.4bn for the wider economy.
BRE, the UK building research consultant, is advising on the development.