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Tim Smit, Chief Executive of the Eden Project

Today Tim Smit is a well renowned and successful business man, however he began as an archaeologist before taking an unexpected leap into the music business, working as both a song-writer and producer receiving seven platinum and gold discs.

In 1987 he moved to Cornwall during which he discovered the remains of gardens dating back to the 12th century. After two years of restoration, he opened the Lost Gardens of Heligan,  which became the subject of a television documentary and, with 350,000 visitors a year, one of the county’s top tourist attractions in Britain. Tim later co-founded the £80 million initiative, Eden Project in Cornwall, which opened to the public in 2001. He was appointed CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2002 New Years Honours List and awarded the Kilgerran Award of the Foundation for Science and Technology in 2003.

What is the Eden Project?

The Eden Project attracts over 1 million visitors each year. The Eden Project was constructed in a 160-year-old exhausted china clay quarry at Bodelva, near St. Austell, in Cornwall. It was established as one of the Landmark Millennium Projects to mark the year 2000 in the UK, opening to the public in March 2001. The Eden Project aims to promote the understanding and responsible management of the vital relationship between plants, people and resources, leading to a sustainable future for all.

The main complex consists of a series of connected geodesic domes (biomes), which were designed using 3D computer modelling. The designs were fed directly to a machine shop, where an automated production line computer controlled the cutting of the components. These were then numbered and delivered to the site flat packed, complete with assembly instructions. Most of the components were hexagons and triangles, with the odd pentagon to make all the pieces fit together into a dome.