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New extension for Natural History Museum

The construction of the new extension of the Natural History Museum was completed this week. It features a 65 m long and 8 storey high concrete cocoon - the largest sprayed concrete curved structure in Europe.

Work started on site in June 2006 and involved transporting 30 28m long columns - the longest columns ever taken in transit through London.

Construction finished on the project this week allowing work to start on transferring the 20 million insect and plant specimens into their new home.

The cocoon is encased in a 8-storey glass building which will contain state-of -the-art scientific research facilities.

The £78 million Darwin Centre will be open to the public from September 2009 and is the most significant expansion at the Museum since it moved to South Kensington in 1881.

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