Northern France isn't generally thought of as a tropical paradise but a section of it soon will be, courtesy of Coldefy & Associates. The French firm recently unveiled its plan to construct the world's largest single-domed tropical greenhouse in the Pas-de-Calais area.

The project, dubbed Tropicalia, will measure 20,000 sq m (215,278 sq ft) and comprise a massive aluminum frame and ETFE cushions. The air-filled transparent plastic building material is commonly used on architectural projects in the place of glass, including in Beijing's National Aquatic Center and the UK's similar Eden Project.

According to Coldefy & Associates, a natural greenhouse effect will provide a constant temperature of 28° C (82.4° F) inside, though presumably some kind of ventilation will be used to help maintain this, if not heating too. Interestingly, ArchDaily's report suggests that excess heat could be stored or even piped to the surrounding area.

The interior of the dome will be inhabited by lush greenery and animals native to tropical areas, such as butterflies, hummingbirds, fish and turtles. A 1 km (0.62 mile)-long footpath will take visitors through a carefully landscaped route complete with bridges, pools and waterfalls. There will also be a restaurant, hotel, guesthouses, stores and an area for scientists.

Tropicalia is due to begin construction in 2019, with completion expected by 2021. Coldefy & Associates suggests that that up to 500,000 visitors will visit annually, and we expect more details on the project as it progresses.

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