Visitor attraction to see cylindrical glasshouse built inside former gasholder

Dundee eden 6

Source: FCBS

CGI of how the interior of the main glasshouse building will look when built

Councillors have approved plans by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios to transform a former gas works site in Dundee into a Scotland branch of the Eden Project. 

The proposals will see a 36m high glass structure built inside a derelict gas holder as the central feature of a wider mixed-use leisure development in the city’s harbour district.

It is the third branch of the educational visitor attraction to be given the green light in the UK following the original Grimshaw-designed site in Cornwall which was completed in 2000 and proposals in Lancashire seaside town Morecambe, also designed by Grimshaw, which were approved in 2022.

FCBS’ plans for the East Dock Street will require the demolition of most existing buildings except the gasholder and the construction of three main venues set in a landscaped park.

Dundee gasholder 1

The derelict gas holder at the centre of the East Dock Street site which will be transformed into the scheme’s main attraction

Visitors will start in a 2,000 sq m single-storey entrance building called The Valve which will be built using reclaimed bricks, bio-based material facing and topped with a green roof.

They will then be guided towards the most prominent building, called The Lush Bunker, which will fill the inside of the former gas holder with a 6,000 sq m cylindrical glasshouse topped with a slanted roof supported by a central tree-like steel structure.

Inside will be a ramp which will take visitors on a tour through three themed areas filled with exotic plants and educational exhibits.

The experience will begin with a “dark immersive adventure through Earth’s past” which explores how fossil fuels are deposited underground before emerging into a daylit planted environment.

A third venue on the northern edge of the site will consist of a two-storey building flanked by wings with curved roofs, containing gallery spaces, artworks and interactive exhibitions. 

FCBS said the scheme will be a “landmark” development for Dundee which will transform the former gas works into a “beacon for regeneration and green tourism”.

The project team includes cost consultant Aecom, planning and transport consultant WSP, landscape architect Gross Max, MEP and fire engineer Atelier Ten, civil engineer Buro Happold and structural engineer Expedition. Local architect Nicol Russell Studios is also working on the scheme.

The Eden Project announced plans for a project in Eastbourne in 2020, although a planning application has not yet been submitted. Grimshaw has designed an outpost in China which opened last year after several years of delays while a project in New Zealand was cancelled in April.