New ₤78m Darwin Centre opens in Central London

The Natural History Museum today opened its new eight-storey Darwin Centre. The first phase of the development, which opened in 2002, houses 22m zoological specimens stored in alcohol. The new Centre brings some of the rest of the Museum’s vast collections into the public eye, displaying 17m entomology specimens and 3m botany specimens.

The Centre also has 1,040 square metres of laboratory space, thereby doubling the museum’s lab areas. These labs will also effectively be on display to the public, being glass-fronted and sometimes linked via intercom to the public gallery, enabling visitors to ask questions of the scientists about what they are doing. The building, covering 3,500 square metres, is the largest sprayed concrete curved structure in Europe. Entry is free to the public. For further information, please see here.


In other Darwin-related building news, the Linnean Society of London, where many of Darwin’s papers were presented, will be open to the public this weekend as part of Open House London 2009. Visitors will be able to see the Meeting Room and newly refurbished Library, as well as to ask questions to staff, Fellows and Members of Council. The Society will be open from 10am until 5pm (last entry at 4.45pm) on Saturday 19th September. For further details, please see here.