Plan for world's largest greenhouse blossoming

Plan for world's largest greenhouse blossoming

Illustration courtesy of Coldefy & Associates

The world’s largest tropical greenhouse under one roof soon will take shape, featuring waterfalls and an array of plants.

The French design firm Coldefy & Associates has unveiled plans to construct the $62 million single-domed structure in the Pas-de-Calais area. Construction is slated to begin in 2019, with completion expected by 2021.

Dubbed Tropicalia, the building will measure 215,278 square feet and comprise a massive aluminum frame and ETFE cushions. The air-filled transparent plastic building material is commonly used on architectural projects in the place of glass, including in Beijing's National Aquatic Center and the UK's similar Eden Project.

In addition to the double-insulated glass dome, the greenhouse will be partly embedded into the earth to take advantage of natural insulation and ensure a stable 79-degree indoor environment year-round. Excess heat could be recycled for use in neighboring buildings, according to a release from Coldefy & Associates.

The interior of the dome will be inhabited by lush greenery and animals native to tropical areas, such as butterflies, hummingbirds, fish and turtles. A 0.62 mile-long footpath will take visitors through a carefully landscaped route complete with bridges, pools and waterfalls. Coldefy & Associates suggests that up to 500,000 visitors will visit annually.

There also will be a restaurant, hotel, guesthouses, stores and an area for scientists.


Topics: Architectural Firms, Construction Firms, Engineering Firms, Environmental Firms, Exteriors, Greenhouses, Metal Roofs and Walls, Sustainable Communities, Technology, Urban Planning and Design, Wall Systems / Curtain Walls

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