New impressions of Eden Project-style attraction for Portland

Dorset Echo: VISION: Drawing of north-south section of the proposed Jurassica project on Portland by Renzo Piano VISION: Drawing of north-south section of the proposed Jurassica project on Portland by Renzo Piano

THIS new drawing by renowned architect Renzo Piano depicts the multi-million pound vision to build a subterranean geological tourist attraction on Portland to rival the Eden Project.

The Jurassica visitor attraction, which this week secured government backing to the tune of £300,000 to fund a feasibility study, would create hundreds of jobs and boost the local economy by millions.

It is earmarked for the old Yeolands Quarry.

Images, which include sketches and photographs of a 3D model, have been released ahead of a public meeting on Portland on Monday when plans will be discussed by the man behind the project, science journalist Michael Hanlon.

Jurassica aims to celebrate the unique geological heritage of the Jurassic Coast. It is still in its early stages but has received backing from businesses and high profile figures including Sir David Attenborough.

Italian architect Renzo Piano, whose projects included The Shard in London, leads the design team.

Described as being a third of the size of the Millennium Dome, Jurassica would be 35m deep, 100m wide and covered in a translucent domed glass and steel ‘web-like’ roof.

Visitors to the park could see fossilised dinosaurs, marine reptiles and plants, alongside robotic plesiosaurus and animatronics that will swim in an aquarium.

At next week’s meeting, visitors will be able to view a collection of drawings, visuals and a video of the proposed site, as well as 3D models.

Mr Hanlon said “I am fully aware that expectations are high, much speculation is in the air and that also, as yet, work has not commenced to build this extraordinary vision. This is a chance to say what has and has not been achieved, and what you can expect to see happening in the near future.

“We do not want an easy ride; far from it. Scepticism is healthy, difficult questions are the best ones to be asked. We want to hear what you have to say. This is your island, not mine, and above all else I want Jurassica to make Portland a better place.”

Everyone is welcome to the Jurassica community presentation which is on Monday, July 14 at 7pm at Girt Hall, St George’s Centre, Portland.

Comments (10)

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7:25am Fri 11 Jul 14

thebrain says...

Heard it all before but as usual no action:
Jurassic Railway--Portland to Weymouth along Chesil Beach
Toursist Site at the old engine shed, Portland
Camp site-Southwell Road
Palm Oil---Portland Port
Wind Farm---Off Portland
All to create jobs and put Fraggle Rock on the map several small problems poor infrasture, one road on /off and not one brick laid.
Portland the land of dreams and a place to moan and retire to.
Heard it all before but as usual no action: Jurassic Railway--Portland to Weymouth along Chesil Beach Toursist Site at the old engine shed, Portland Camp site-Southwell Road Palm Oil---Portland Port Wind Farm---Off Portland All to create jobs and put Fraggle Rock on the map several small problems poor infrasture, one road on /off and not one brick laid. Portland the land of dreams and a place to moan and retire to. thebrain
  • Score: -18

8:04am Fri 11 Jul 14

JamesYoung says...

thebrain wrote:
Heard it all before but as usual no action:
Jurassic Railway--Portland to Weymouth along Chesil Beach
Toursist Site at the old engine shed, Portland
Camp site-Southwell Road
Palm Oil---Portland Port
Wind Farm---Off Portland
All to create jobs and put Fraggle Rock on the map several small problems poor infrasture, one road on /off and not one brick laid.
Portland the land of dreams and a place to moan and retire to.
I was pretty sceptical too, until i say the name of the designer.
And the Eden Project does employ about 600 people in season (400 out of season).
[quote][p][bold]thebrain[/bold] wrote: Heard it all before but as usual no action: Jurassic Railway--Portland to Weymouth along Chesil Beach Toursist Site at the old engine shed, Portland Camp site-Southwell Road Palm Oil---Portland Port Wind Farm---Off Portland All to create jobs and put Fraggle Rock on the map several small problems poor infrasture, one road on /off and not one brick laid. Portland the land of dreams and a place to moan and retire to.[/p][/quote]I was pretty sceptical too, until i say the name of the designer. And the Eden Project does employ about 600 people in season (400 out of season). JamesYoung
  • Score: 34

10:51am Fri 11 Jul 14

paulst says...

It's pretty impressive they have got Renzo Piano on board.
He wouldn't put his name to any old pie in the sky idea.
Let's hope they manage to pull it off. The area could do with a boost
It's pretty impressive they have got Renzo Piano on board. He wouldn't put his name to any old pie in the sky idea. Let's hope they manage to pull it off. The area could do with a boost paulst
  • Score: 31

12:49pm Fri 11 Jul 14

shy talk says...

Fantastic opportunity for the people of Portland, lets hope it comes to fruition. As ever I expect the dissenters will emerge from their burrows to complain.
Fantastic opportunity for the people of Portland, lets hope it comes to fruition. As ever I expect the dissenters will emerge from their burrows to complain. shy talk
  • Score: 69

1:04pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Preston North End says...

Do it - with the application of world-class imagination, it'll be great.
Do it - with the application of world-class imagination, it'll be great. Preston North End
  • Score: 11

1:36pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Newground says...

May I suggest a complementary 'taster' Jurassic exhibition at Boot Hill traffic lights. Tourists to this part of the world may well spend more time there...
May I suggest a complementary 'taster' Jurassic exhibition at Boot Hill traffic lights. Tourists to this part of the world may well spend more time there... Newground
  • Score: 2

9:17pm Fri 11 Jul 14

arlbergbahn says...

Sarcasm about traffic lights aside, what sort of number of visitors are they anticipating for this? They must have made some estimate. What are they planning to do about access? Surely it would be completely impractical to anticipate the kind of numbers the Eden Project gets to go up Fortuneswell and back down through Chiswell?
Sarcasm about traffic lights aside, what sort of number of visitors are they anticipating for this? They must have made some estimate. What are they planning to do about access? Surely it would be completely impractical to anticipate the kind of numbers the Eden Project gets to go up Fortuneswell and back down through Chiswell? arlbergbahn
  • Score: 85

10:12pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Rocksalt says...

Newground wrote:
May I suggest a complementary 'taster' Jurassic exhibition at Boot Hill traffic lights. Tourists to this part of the world may well spend more time there...
Yes, right, like the Eden Project has a dual carriageway running right to the entrance. Actually, on reflection, it doesn't. Nevertheless they seem to have found a way of managing,even when staging concerts where everyone leaves at the same time.
[quote][p][bold]Newground[/bold] wrote: May I suggest a complementary 'taster' Jurassic exhibition at Boot Hill traffic lights. Tourists to this part of the world may well spend more time there...[/p][/quote]Yes, right, like the Eden Project has a dual carriageway running right to the entrance. Actually, on reflection, it doesn't. Nevertheless they seem to have found a way of managing,even when staging concerts where everyone leaves at the same time. Rocksalt
  • Score: 3

10:19pm Fri 11 Jul 14

1Kimberlin says...

shy talk wrote:
Fantastic opportunity for the people of Portland, lets hope it comes to fruition. As ever I expect the dissenters will emerge from their burrows to complain.
Only thing that will stop this is W&PBC when they find out there's nowt in it to line anyone's pockets.

Could be an Ideal place to put Dear Old Richard Denton White on display the old Dinosaur
[quote][p][bold]shy talk[/bold] wrote: Fantastic opportunity for the people of Portland, lets hope it comes to fruition. As ever I expect the dissenters will emerge from their burrows to complain.[/p][/quote]Only thing that will stop this is W&PBC when they find out there's nowt in it to line anyone's pockets. Could be an Ideal place to put Dear Old Richard Denton White on display the old Dinosaur 1Kimberlin
  • Score: 27

4:49pm Mon 14 Jul 14

lukew151 says...

Whilst I welcome anything which creates jobs and improves the experience for visitors to the area, it would be good to see a business plan for such an attraction.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/uk-england-cor
nwall-25644254 - the Eden Project has massive financial issues - £1.3M pumped into it by Cornwall Council over 3 years. There is no way WPBC could support such a thing. This could be good for the area, but there's a lot which needs to be worked out first.
Whilst I welcome anything which creates jobs and improves the experience for visitors to the area, it would be good to see a business plan for such an attraction. See http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/uk-england-cor nwall-25644254 - the Eden Project has massive financial issues - £1.3M pumped into it by Cornwall Council over 3 years. There is no way WPBC could support such a thing. This could be good for the area, but there's a lot which needs to be worked out first. lukew151
  • Score: 0
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