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Germinal

zsea“ …the twentieth century was the century of physics: but the twenty-first century will be the century of biology”. Professor Freeman Dyson

The experiences on offer and the science and other themes promoted through this new wildlife based science discovery centre will all relate to a central metaphor of ‘growth’, so supporting distinct issues of particular importance to East Anglia.  Germinal will be delivered in partnership with the University of East Anglia, the John Innes Centre, the Genome Analysis Centre and the Institute of Food Research, all within the Norwich Research Park (‘NRP’)

ZSEA will look to select a particular complement of fauna and flora to reflect a specific exotic biodiversity landscape, likely to be Brazil. Organisation and interpretation will invite the visitor to consider what wildlife and the living world means to the culture and identity of that nation, thus forming a virtual bridge to an growing super economy and crucial UK trading partner.

Building concept sketch: view from westBuilding concept sketch: view from west

Germinal will be first and foremost an exhilarating narrative adventure in a tropical house setting. Visitors will enter an area replete with giant tropical planting (… including orchids, gingers, aroids, palms and bromeliads), and pass beneath waterfalls, over mangrove swamps, crossing fast running streams stocked with tropical fish, and share space with free flying butterflies and birds. Invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, possibly some small primates may all be part of Germinal’s animal community. The hot house environment will encourage plants to show spectacular literal growth rates and sizes; as well as reference the tendency of tropical eco-systems to maximise the growth of animal and plant varieties. Analogy and interpretation will then open up to a wider consideration of the importance of sustainable food production, both in our own Norfolk and East Anglian regions in terms of its artisan food sector and in respect of global crop development issues across the world.

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Germinal concept visual

The hot house environment will encourage plants to show spectacular literal growth rates and sizes; as well as reference the tendency of tropical eco-systems to maximise the growth of animal and plant varieties.

Analogy and interpretation will then open up to a wider consideration of the importance of sustainable food production, both in our own Norfolk and East Anglian regions in terms of its artisan food sector and in respect of global crop development issues across the world.

Germinal’s spectrum of beguiling fauna and flora will promote a discussion of how man the farmer, moving through an industrial phase, now once again solves his problems by ’growing things’; but now in laboratories and factories rather than fields and gardens.  Germinal will thus champion East Anglia’s burgeoning bio-science sector (in association with UEA and the NRP). Subject to discussion, the axis between Germinal, UEA and the NRP may also look to incubate new businesses or otherwise attract new enterprise into the area.

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Germinal site plan

The growth motif is equally relevant to the region’s wonderful native wildlife and unique landscapes in terms of tourism/ leisure, as well as psychological and social wellbeing.

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Finally Germinal will be associated with an innovative ‘personal growth’ programme embracing training, volunteering, back to work and individual challenge opportunities.  ZSEA is in a privileged position to scale up in response to a huge existing annual demand for its currently over-subscribed services in this area.