Eden-8732I co-founded the Eden Project with Tim Smit and it was our original exchange of ideas that forged the Eden vision. Tim Smit’s pioneering venture with John Nelson at the Lost Gardens of Heligan provided the background to Tim’s subsequent idea to create a series of giant conservatories to tell the story of how the great plant hunters changed the shape of the world. My ambition as co-founder was two fold: to deliver defining world class architecture which would make manifest Tim’s idea of giant greenhouses, and with which Cornwall would celebrate the Millennium, but also to extend the remit of the project to showcase the humanitarian issues of our age and the global challenges facing mankind in the 21st century. Photograph Bob Willingham.


Eden-2014Between 1994 and 1997, as co-founders we shared equally the entrepreneurial risk in developing the concept, from the formation of the Eden Trust and Eden Project Limited , to establishing the business plan that secured the Millennium Commission’s landmark project funding, assembling the professional design and horticultural teams, securing the necessary public support and consents and masterminding all the collaborative arrangements necessary for the Eden vision to be realised. Photograph Bob Willingham.


Public Statement


Eden-8676The public statement issued by the Eden Trust and Eden Project Limited in November 2003 concluded that the combination of Tim Smit’s exceptional communication skills and Heligan experience and Jonathan Ball’s creativity, skills and professional contacts in the world of architecture, site assembly and politics was the catalyst that turned the dream into reality.

However I was removed from the Eden Project in June 2000 against my will, an action which resulted in litigation in the Royal Courts of Justice where the High Court found in my favour. This was a landmark case in the legal protection of intellectual Property Rights (see Ball v Druces & Attlee.) Photograph Bob Willingham.


Eden's Brilliance


Eden-8664The Eden Project has won many national and international awards. In 2005 Tim Smit and I jointly received the Cornwall Architectural Trust Award for design excellence at Eden.  Photograph Bob Willingham.