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Wildscreen centre

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The Michael Hopkins & Partners-designed Wildscreen centre in Bristol was due to open to visitors for the first time today. The £14 million Wildscreen features a botanical house, an 'electronic zoo' and an IMAX cinema, all focusing on the 95 per cent of animal and insect species which are smaller than a hen's egg. The building is divided into five adjoining parts: the tented foyer (above right) with a translucent canopy, the botanical garden (above left) which is made from cushions of ETFE foil similar to the Eden Project in Cornwall, a darkened room for electronic exhibits, a rotunda-shaped IMAX and a converted industrial building. These are connected by a sprayed concrete central vault (above right) which runs from the foyer, through the botanical exhibits, into the cinema, giving access to each section. The other centre, Explore, designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, focuses on science and is already open.

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