The Second Phase of the Darwin Centre opened in 2009, having cost just over £78million to build. A competition to design the centre was held in 2001, some 60 firms applied and the winner was C.F. Møller, a Danish firm of architects.
The state of the art scientific research and collections facility is housed within a 16,000 square metre building. It securely stores the Museum's entomology and botany specimens: 17 million insects and 3 million plants. These dry collections are vital for research into disease, climate change, and threats to the Earth's biodiversity.
The building also continues the centre's mission to take visitors behind the scenes, and includes hands-on learning displays and resources, as well as new laboratories for 220 scientists from all over the world.
The key concept of the design is a giant cocoon encased within a glass box, a fitting concept for a building dedicated to studying plants and insects. The 60 metre long building contains eight storeys which meet around a central atrium, as can be seen on this long section.
C.F. Møller Architects
C.F. Møller Architects is one of Scandinavia's oldest and largest architectural practices. The firm was started in 1924 by the late Christian Frederik Møller (1898-1988), a Danish architect and professor. The firm is mainly known for its work in Denmark, including Aarhus University.