Darwin Centre, The National History Museum, London

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Darwin Centre, The National History Museum, London

The newly-developed Darwin Centre (named after Charles Darwin) is designed as a new home for the museum's collection of tens of millions of preserved specimens, as well as new work spaces for the museum's scientific staff, and new educational visitor experiences. Built in two distinct phases, with two new buildings adjacent to the main Waterhouse building, it is the most significant new development project in the museum's history. Phase one of the Darwin Centre houses the Zoological department's 'spirit collections' — organisms preserved in alcohol. Phase Two was unveiled in September 2008 and opened to the general public in September 2009. It was designed by Danish architecture practice C. F. Møller Architects in the shape of a giant, eight-story cocoon and houses the entomology and botanical collections — the 'dry collections'. The most famous creature in the centre is the 8.62 metre long Giant Squid, affectionately named Archie.

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