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April 2, 2009

London’s Natural History Museum to unveil stunning £78m cocoon venue

Following eight years of design and construction, the second phase of the Darwin Centre at one of London’s most iconic landmarks, the Natural History Museum, opens in September – and with it a comes a breathtaking new events venue.

The new £78 million extension consists of a 65-metre-long, eight-story-high ‘cocoon’ – the largest sprayed concrete, curved structure in Europe. This architecturally stunning new building will give visitors and scientists the chance to share the excitement of exploring, studying and preserving the natural world. What’s more, it will be available to hire for events.

As a venue, it will boast 16,000 square metres of floor space, offering delegates and guests the opportunity to experience the work of the Natural History Museum scientists first hand. They’ll be able to glimpse into the collection of 20 million insects and plants, see scientists working in state-of-the-art laboratories and enjoy magnificent views over the museum's gardens and west London.

Archetectural triumph: The Darwin Centre's concrete cocoon is shrouded in glass

“The Darwin Centre will provide a bright, modern events space to complement the infamous, historic architecture of Central Hall and the unique Earth galleries,” said Zoë Watts, head of events and catering at the Natural History Museum. “Able to accommodate 150 guests for dinner and 300 guests for a cocktail reception, the Darwin Centre will boast its own landscaped garden with a gated entrance on Queens Gate, making it perfect for outdoor events.

“This space will provide a number of possibilities for clients, enabling them a broader experience of the Natural History Museum,” continued Watts. “Guests can combine a reception in the Darwin Centre followed by dinner in Central Hall and there are also endless event possibilities for combining the Darwin Centre and its garden with the exhibition spaces and galleries within the original Museum building.”

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