The Cocoon

What's hiding inside the giant cocoon?

In 2001, the Natural History Museum launched a competition for a new extension to the museum - the Darwin Centre II - with the aim af not only providing its extensive collection of plants and insects with proper filing space, but also of making them accessible to the public.

The Danish firm of C. F. Møller Architects was selected as the winner with a proposal for an emblematic figure which in one giant form epitomised the main functional requirements of the building. Its branding effect is such as to make the house and the shape function as a poster for the Darwin Centre, and it is so iconic that nearly unanimous news and architectural media have dubbed it 'the (giant) Cocoon'.

The book, The Cocoon, tells the story of the genesis of this remarkable building and, not least, of the architects' recurrent considerations when faced with tecnical challenges no one had ever come up against; but the new display concept, which brings together visitors and scientists, also required innovative thinking.

Read more at the webpage of C.F. Møller Architects.

The Cocoon can be purchased at

March 2010