The Eden Project has engaged LDA Design to design the first of three Eden visitor centres in China.

Grimshaw Architects and LDA Design have both been appointed by Eden to design the first centre. The new ecological park will be located near the port city of Qingdao on China’s east coast. On reclaimed land, visitors will be able to see wetlands, freshwater and salt lakes, swales, reed beds, rain gardens and beaches, reports Horticulture Week.

LDA Design senior board director, Neil Mattinson, said: “We are thrilled to be part of the design team developing China’s first Eden Project, enabling people to explore and understand what water means for life on earth.

“This is a truly amazing part of the world and our aim is to create an unforgettable, rich experience where lasting memories are made at the water’s edge. We hope it will be a place where people return time and again.”

The Eden Project first opened in 2001.  It was created from a disused china clay quarry near St Austell in Cornwall.  It has proved enormously popular:  in its first 16 years, it attracted more than 19 million visitors.  The attraction has also been a huge boom for the regional economy, generating £1.7 billion.

Eden Project International Ltd is currently working on three projects in China and others in Australia and New Zealand. Other overseas projects will be announced in the coming months, including projects in North America and the Middle East.

Meanwhile, in Christchurch, New Zealand, the group is working alongside a local trust to develop a social enterprise and attraction in the earthquake-ravaged Red Zone.  The plan includes restoration of native ecology along the River Avon shoreline.

Eden Project Limited recorded a rise in turnover and operating profit in its last full-year accounts this July. It also saw visitor numbers nudge back up above the million mark for the first time in five years .

Image courtesy The Eden Project

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