A World-Class Destination Uniting Biodiversity Stories and Stone Carving on DORSET'S JURASSIC COAST

MEMO Portland
The Journey Portland

The vision for MEMO Portland was for an underground 'cathedral' where the timeless craft of stone carving converges with advanced technology to bring to life narratives of biodiversity, extinction, and evolution.

This visionary project unites two world-class initiatives long envisioned for Portland: the MEMO (Mass Extinction Monitoring Observatory) and the Jurassica projects. In partnership with Eden Project International, MEMO Portland the project planned to rejuvenate an exhausted quarry and mine, transforming it into a premier visitor destination. Projected to attract 320,000 visitors annually and generate 130 jobs it also committed to biodiversity regeneration on Portland.

FCBStudios developed initial designs and conducted early planning consultations, setting the stage for this transformative endeavor.

Key Information

Sector: Masterplanning & Urban Design, Arts & Culture, Regenerative Design & Sustainability, Community 

Client: Eden Project International

Location: The Isle of Portland, Dorset

Together we will tell the biggest story of all: the evolving story of life. It’s a story four billion years in the making and so far as anyone knows is unique in the universe. According to the world’s biologists, a big chapter is unfolding right now with biodiversity loss worldwide, and with its mines, its cliffs and its mysteries, Portland is an amazingly vivid setting for the telling of it.

MEMO Project Director Sebastian Brooke

Underground gallery

The attraction is in spectacular tunnels excavated by Albion Stone in Jordan's Mine. There is nearly a linear kilometre of underground 'gallery' space. Inside this labyrinth of tunnels, visitors will explore the dramatic history of life on earth.

Economic revival

Following the example of the Eden Project in Cornwall, the project aimed to spearhead the economic revival of the island which has remained a persistent pocket of coastal deprivation with high incidence of NEETS (Young people not in education, employment or training) among 16–24-year-olds.


MEMO Portland was to be a partnership between MEMO, Albion Stone (mining experts and main contractor) and the Eden Project (content development and site operator). The project also received financial support from Dorset Council, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, philanthropist Sue Lyons, and The Valentine Trust. MEMO is an educational charity with the mission to inspire wonder in the planet’s biodiversity, both past and present, to engage the public in biodiversity loss.


Creative Team, Visitor Journey and Narrative
Eden Project
Landscape Architect
Grant Associates
Exhibition Design
Thinc Design

FCBStudios Team Leads