Darwin Centre, Natural History Museum, London

The Darwin Centre, Natural History MuseumThe new Darwin Centre building and its futuristic cocoon structure house millions of vital plant and insect specimens and over 200 working scientific experts.

Museum visitors and scientists can now share in the excitement of exploring, studying and preserving the natural world like never before.

The 8-storey, £78 million landmark building completes the Darwin Centre’s development, which is the most significant expansion at the Museum since it moved to South Kensington in 1881.

The new Darwin Centre, holds 17m entomology specimens and 3m botany specimens. The main element is a giant eight storey cocoon, 60 metres long, 12 metres wide and 300 millimetres thick, with a surface area of 3,500 square metres. Bound in steel channels resembling silk threads it is the largest sprayed concrete curved structure in Europe.

A controlled environment provides ideal conditions for specimens, staff and visitors via centralised air conditioning, ventilation and building engineering services.

Euroflo Group Ltd undertook responsibility for commissioning the building engineering services to achieve the close controlled environment for the research facilities and comfort cooling for staff and visitors, together with preparation of the digital operating and maintenance manuals formatted accessed via the building management system terminals.