Best of Thomas Heatherwick!

  • 11 May '13
  • 4:00 am by Crew
Inside the UK Pavillion

Thomas Heatherwick was in India during the India Design Forum. I briefly spoke about him earlier, just giving a small insight into his talk at IDF. But having felt that wasnt enough spoken about work. Today we’re going to show you his most extraordinary and memorable work. I strongly encourage you to watch the videos, I feel like pictures do not do justice.

Starting with the project in Shanghai, China, for the World Expo. The task at hand was to create the UK Pavilion. The budget was smaller than the other countries and the site the size of a football pitch. In addition to that the pavilion had to be in the “top five” most popular attractions. In the video below, out of the projects which Thomas Heatherwick speaks about, what appealed to me the most is obviously the UK Pavilion and The Rolling Bridge at Paddington Basin, London.

The most recent and glorious project by Thomas Heatherwick has been the Lighting of the Cauldron at the 2012, Olympic Games in London. As the teams entered the Olympic stadium, a chosen team member bearing their country’s precious object. One by one, in a clearing at the centre of the growing crowd of athletes, these artefacts were laid out as offerings, forming a large-scale pattern on the ground that radiates like the petals of a flower.
As each petal was illuminated, the first one began rising silently from the ground, carried upwards on a long fine stem, followed in circular waves by all the others. Over the next minute or so, the 204 separate flames converged to form one great flame of unity surging into the sky, making this a giant kinetic sculpture in the centre of the stadium that symbolises the coming together in peace of 204 nations for two weeks of sporting competition.
On leaving London, each of the 204 competing countries, took home its own inscribed copper object as a souvenir of their contribution to the world’s most iconic sporting event. See the video below to see the exuberance on the final day!

Lighting of the Cauldron at the Olympic Games, 2010

The last and most fun project I have to show you. Well I loved it so much I’ve decided I’m definitely ordering one for myself. Its called The Spun chair!
At college, Heatherwick had been taught by a silversmith, skilled in using big sheets of silver to make large goblets & trophies. Working with the gallery, Haunch of Venison, Thomas Heatherwick used the traditional craft of large-scale metal spinning to produce a series of highly finished pieces in different metals. There after the studio also collaborated with the Italian furniture manufacturer, Magis, to develop a version made with a different kind of rotational process, rotation-moulded plastic. So it could be mass produced and also made available in a host of colors. The red is whats on my list! Which one is your favourite? He set them up in Southbank Center Square for everyone to experience.

Spun Chair by Thomas Heatherwick

Photos via Magis & Thomas Heatherwick