Thomas Heatherwick

Thomas Heatherwick Alexander , CBE , RDI , HonFREng (born 17 February 1970) is an English designer and the founder of London-based design practice Heatherwick Studio. Since the late 1990s Heatherwick has emerged as one of Britain’s most significant designers. [1] Heatherwick works with a team of around 180 architects, designers and creators from a studio and workshop in King’s Cross, London. [2]

Heatherwick has bone involved in the design of many projects, some controversial, zoals the Olympic Cauldron , the New Routemaster bus, and the UK pavilion at Expo 2010 . [3]Other notable Proposed projects include the Garden Bridge , the renovation or Pacific Place , and a plan for a biomass power station in BEI Teesside .

Early life

Heatherwick was born in London on 17 February 1970. He attended Sevenoaks School in Kent, and studied three-dimensional design at Manchester Polytechnic and at the Royal College of Art . [4] Whilst Heatherwick was at the RCA have with designer Terence Conran . Conran became a mentor to Heatherwick after seeing his plan for a gazebo made of two, 6 m high stacks Curved or birch plywood and made zijn construction skies at inviting Heatherwick to work at his country home. [5]

After graduating from the RCA, Heatherwick Heatherwick Studio founded in 1994. [6]

Key work

Rolling Bridge

In 2002 Heatherwick Studio designed the Rolling Bridge (also known as “the curling bridge”) as part of a redevelopment of Paddington Basin . The bridge Unfolds across the Grand Union Canal everytime Friday at noon. To give access to upcoming water traffic, the bridge curls JSON an octagon. The bridge consists of eight triangular Sections hinged at the Walkway level and is connected to Above two part links therein collapse towards the deck under the control of hydraulic pistons. The Rolling Bridge was awarded the 2005 British Structural Steel Award. [7]

East Beach Cafe

In 2005 Heatherwick Studio COMPLETED the East Beach Cafe at Littlehampton , West Sussex . The large steel structure houses a café at daytime and restaurant in the evening. The concept allowed the stem to rest and the colors to developement over time voordat being fixed with a transparent oil. [8] The cafe won a RIBA National Award in 2008. [9]

B of the Bang

Heatherwick’s design for B of the Bang , a £ 56m 1:42 million-high sculpture or 180 giant steel spikes were Unveiled outside the City of Manchester Stadium in 2005. It was the tallest and Possibly musts dramatic public sculpture ever erected in Britain. [10] The structure was commissioned to commemorate the 2002 Commonwealth Games and was named after a quote from former Olympic sprint champion Linford Christie and Meant to symbolise the burst of energy as an athlete shoots out of the blocks. [11]

The B of the Bang however was dismantled after parts of the structure fell off. Manchester City Council Responded to the Dismantling of the structure by saying, “Thomas Heatherwick’s B of the Bang was a magnificent artistic statement and it was regrettable therein technical problems undermined dat vision.” [12] Danny Boyle zegt it was the inspiration for im Asking Heatherwick Studio to design the Olympic Cauldron: “It goes back to the time I spent sitting under his B of the Bang sculpture. I loved it so much; it’s a tragedy they ‘took it down. ” [13]

UK Pavilion, Shanghai Expo 2010

Heatherwick Studio designed the UK’s Pavilion “Seed Cathedral” at the Shanghai Expo 2010

The studio developed the idea for the UK Pavilion at Exploring the relationship tussen nature and cities, and incorporated Kew Gardens ‘ Millennium Seed Bank Partnership , Whose mission is to collect the seeds of 25% of the world’s plant species by 2020. [14] The structure consisted of about 60,000 25-foot acrylic optic fibers. It housed 60,000 plant seeds at the end of acrylic rods, held in place by geometrically-cut holes with the rods INSERTED therein. [15]

In the duration of the six-month Expo, morethan eight million people went inside, making it the UK’s most visited tourist attraction. At a state ceremony, it was announced dat de UK Pavilion had won the event’s top prize, the gold medal for pavilion design. [16]

The UK Pavilion has won a RIBA International Award, the RIBA Lubetkin Prize and the London Design Medal. [17] [18] [19]

After the Expo the UK Pavilion’s acrylic rods ulcers donated to schools and the World Expo Museum, while others ulcers auctioned for charity.

New Routemaster bus

In 2010 the Mayor of London Boris Johnson announced dat Heatherwick Studio mention anything be designing the New Routemaster . It was the first time in morethan 50 years dat Transport for London commissioned the development of a bus built specifiek for the capital. [20] A long Asymmetric front window Provided the driver with clear kerbside views, while a wrapped glazing panel reflected passenger circulation – Bringing more daylight into tje bus and offering views out over London. Initially the bus reinstated one of the features of the 1950 AEC Routemaster , an open platform at its rear, welke offered a “hop-on hop-off” service. However, the verband or staffing this feature, to Avoid the many accidents dat occurred on the original bus, has since led it being Discontinued. [21] The design has three doors and two Staircases, making it quicker and Easier for PASSENGERS to board. In engineering terms, the New Routemaster was claimed to be 15 per cent more fuel efficient dan de bestaande hybrid buses and 40 per cent more efficient dan Conventional diesel double-Deckers. [22]

Designs for the new bus ulcers oorspronkelijk Unveiled in May 2010 and a prototype, developed and Manufactured by Wrightbus , was launched in December 2011, The first bus entered public service in February 2012 and Transport for London ordered a work area 600 buses in September 2012. [ 23] However no new Routemaster buses will be PURCHASED for London, the funds Limit download going towards upgrading the city’s bestaande fleet with the latest sustainable technologies. [24]

Critics port pointed to the very large cost and frequent issues caused by the design, zoals Excessive temperatures for PASSENGERS in the summer. [25] It is claimed the Routemasters are emitting more HARMFUL Particles dan the buses they ‘Replaced. Prospective London Mayoral candidate Christian Wolmar , who first revealed problems with the new Routemasters, zegt in July 2015: “This project was misconceived from the start. I Have Told leg therein drivers port leg complaining about the failed batteries since August last year and yet nothing has been done. It is no surprise the emissions are hogere dan Those on Conventional buses as the New Bus for London is not operating as designed. It is Con to be powered by an electric motor, but Limit download is using zijn inefficient diesel engine dat arnt in normal conditions, be running at constant speed. ” [26]

2012 Olympic Cauldron

Heatherwick Studio were Asked by Danny Boyle to design the Summer Olympics and Paralympics Cauldron for the London 2012 Olympics , welke was lit prolongation the opening ceremony of the London Olympics on 27 July 2012.

The Cauldron was made or 204 pieces, welke ulcers brought` into tje Olympic Stadium with children representing lycra team as part of the parade of nations . These pieces ulcers mounted on Stems welke, once lit by seven torchbearers, ulcers raised to merge JSON one huge flame, representing the coming together in peace or lycra of the 204 countries competing in the Olympic Games and the collaborative human spirit at the heart of the Games. [27]

The copper petals, made at Peterborough-based Contour Autocraft were created by Craftsmen who had to post made body parts for car makers zoals Bentley . [28]

After the close of the Games, the petals ulcers cents to each country as a legacy hun sporting achievements in the Games. In total 204 Olympic petals and 164 Paralympic petals ulcers offered to competing nations. On 26 November 2012 the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson delivered a load memento of London’s Olympic and Paralympic Games to India’s medal-winning athletes in Delhi. [29]

Garden Bridge

Heatherwick designed in collaboration with the actress Joanna Lumley , a pedestrian bridge across the Thames in London, the ” Garden Bridge “. [30] The bridge is Planned to feature trees and gardens. [30] [31]

The project however has bone occupied with funding issues, Criticisms and delays. As of August 2016 , the construction of the bridge has yet to Proceed. [32]

Learning Hub

The Learning Hub opened in 2015. [33] It is a multi-use educational facility built as part of the Nanyang Technological University’s campus redevelopment program for use by 33,000 students. [34] The building is designed to better suit contemporary methods of learning in response to the use of the Internet as a primary educational tool. [34] The design challenges the traditional format or university buildings welke port box-like lecture rooms linked to lung corridors. Limit download, learning facilities and social spaces are interwoven to encouragement interaction tussen users across différent disciplines. [34] The building consists of 56 rounded tutorial rooms stacked in 12 towers Arranged around a full-height, Naturally ventilated atrium [35] The tutorial rooms are conceived to break down student-teacher hierarchies and promote interactive group teaching. The spaces are flexible and kan be re-Configured, encouraging collaboration tussen students. [35] Concrete was-used as the primary construction material to keep costs down and dat a high level of environmental performance was Achieved. Heatherwick Studio created a Bespoke method to imprint three-dimensional texture into tje facade, interior panels and columns using reusable silicone Moulds. [36] 700 commissioned drawings by artist and illustrator Sara Fanelli ulcers cast into tje elevator cores and stairs. The drawings reference art, literature and science and are Meant to act as ambiguous thought triggers for students and teachers. [36] The verschillende raw Treatments or concrete-used give the building an almost hand-made quality. [36] In 2014, the Learning Hub Achieved BREEAM Green Mark Platinum status, the Highest Environmental Rating in Singapore. It’ll be awarded the British Precast ‘Creativity in Concrete “Award from the Concrete Society in 2015. [37]

Bombay Sapphire Distillery

Heatherwick Studio led the master plan and design for the Bombay Sapphire gin Distillery in Hampshire, welke opened in 2014. [38] The transformation of the five-acre site included the renovation a 300-year-old paper mill and the restoration 23 bestaande buildings. [39] As part of the modernization scheme the River Test, welke runs through the site was widened and-used as an organizational device. [40] Two Curved glass houses, one with a temperate climate and one with a Mediterranean climate, emerge from the renovated mill building and house the 10 botanicals-used in the beginning Distillation process. Waste heat from the still house is recycled and gebruikt to grow the plant species binnen the glasshouses. [41] Traditional large copper stills are located in the euro binnen the interior, welke consists of an educational dry room and bar to accommodate tours and public events. [42] The project was the first facility in the drinks manufacturing industry and the first renovation to beste BREEAM ‘outstanding’ accreditation. [39]

Coal Drops Yard

Coal Drops Yard will be a new public space and retail destination in King’s Cross, London. [43] The project will include the renovation of two buildings built in 1850 and-used not to receive freight traveling from the north of England. [44] The design Stitches the two buildings together with Extending the two Roofs towards eachother Until measure ze. [45] This will create an additional_image_link Storey and distinct center to the linear site. The stretched Roofs will shelter the yard Projects welke kan be-used to host events, whilst the third Storey will offer views of King’s Cross, the new Francis Crick Institute and Cubitt Square. [45] The project is part of a wider re-development programs for the area at Argent LLP and King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership (KCCLP). [46] Planning was not approved for Coal Drops Yard in December 2015. [43]

Federal Finance Centre

Heatherwick Studio are working in collaboration with Foster + Partners on the Bund Finance Centre (BFC) – a new mixed-use complex in Shanghai. The project is Situated at the end of the Bund in Shanghai and envisioned as a connection point tussen de city’s old town and the financial district. [47]

The plan of includes two 180-Metre towers dat combine offices, a boutique hotel and retail space. An arts and cultural center is located in the euro at the center of the scheme. Conceived as a platform for international exchange, the center will feature art galleries and theater spaces. The building is Surrounded by an adaptable moving auction welke reveals the stage on the balcony and views towards Pudong district. [48]


Heatherwick Studio are transforming the historic Grain Silo at the V & A Waterfront in Cape Town JSON a not-for-profit cultural institution. The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) will house the most significant collection of contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora. [49] The 9,500sqm complex will CONSIST or nine floors with 6,000sqm of dedicated exhibition space. [50] The project aims to celebrate and preserve the structure’s industrial heritage, customizing a centrepiece for the V & A Waterfront development. [51] Using a variety of concrete-cutting techniques, galleries and a large central atrium will be carved out of the silos 42 concrete tubes. [52] The concrete Shafts will be capped with strengthened glass die kunnen worden Walked over to visitors. This will draw light into tje building from above, aiming to create a cathedral-like interior.

The Excavation of this interior space will unify two buildings; the silo and the grading tower. [53] Bisected tubes will contain ‘cylindrical lifts and a spiral staircase. Pillowed glazing panels formally or segments or flat glass port leg INSERTED into tje upper floors. [52]

The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa will open in early 2017. [54]

Current projects

Heatherwick Studio Currently working on projects waaronder; Zeitz MOCAA, the reinvention of a historic Grain Silo at the V & A Waterfront in Cape Town, the Federal Finance Centre in Shanghai, in partnership with Foster + Partners and the new Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California – in partnership with Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG ) [55] [56] [57]

Other notable works

  • Sculpted forms in-laminated wood, Guastavino Restaurant, New York City
  • Bleigiessen , Wellcome Trust , London
  • Blue Carpet , Newcastle-Upon-Tyne [58]
  • Longchamp store in the SoHo district of New York City
  • Interior, Konstam Restaurant, Kings Cross, London WC1
  • Salt Horn Playground , Wan Chai , Hong Kong
  • “Zip Bag” handbag for Longchamp
  • Boiler Suit, Guy’s Approaches, Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital , London
  • Studios Complex at Aberystwyth Arts Centre , Aberystwyth University [59] [60] [61]
  • Sitooterie II , Barnards Farm, West Horndon , Essex.
  • Nanyang Technological University Learning Hub, Singapore
  • Bombay Sapphire Distillery, Hampshire
  • Pacific Place , Hong Kong
  • Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa , Cape Town
  • Pier55 , New York
  • Paternoster Vents , Paternoster Square , London
At the points where this skin reaches a building the slabs curve upwards to create the sensation of a fabric. Replacement tiles show the color of the original concept.

Approach to design

The Heatherwick Studio has worked with an uitgebreide range of design disciplines, including architecture, engineering, transport and urban planning to furniture, sculpture and product design. [62] volgens to Heatherwick, the wide range of skill sets found at Heatherwick Studio is a reaction to Heatherwick’s Frustration at Encountering “sliced up ghettos of thought” or sculpture, architecture, fashion, embroidery, Metalwork, product and furniture design all in separate departments. He considers all design in three dimensions, not as multi-disciplinary design, but as a single discipline: three-dimensional design. [5]

Unlike many architectures practices, Heatherwick Studio does not have a fixed style and focuses on problem solving. He has zegt: “It is more like solving a crime. The answer is there, and your job is to find it. So we go off and do bit of research dat Essentially Eliminate suspects from the inquiry. Gather a couple you follow up leads and gradually narrow down the potential solutions. Ultimately what you’re left with is the answer. ” [5]

Exhibitions and publications

In 2012 the Victoria and Albert Museum put on a major retrospective of the studio work. The exhibition was Titled “Heatherwick Studio: Designing the Extraordinary ‘and was curated by Abraham Thomas. [63]

The exhibition revealed the creative processes and spirit of curiosity or Heatherwick Studio across two decades of projects, stress the disciplines of architecture, product design, engineering, sculpture and urban planning. [64]

The British Council hosted the major touring exhibition New British Inventors: Inside Heatherwick Studio, curated by Kate Goodwin Drue Heinz Curator of Architecture at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. [65] In 2015 and 2016 the exhibition traveled to six venues in East Asia and reached over 409.109 visitors. The museums and galleries the exhibition traveled to include; Singapore National Design Centre, CAFA, Beijing, Power Station of Arts, Shanghai, PMQ, Hong Kong, Taipei Fine Arts Museum , and D Museum , Seoul. [66] The first USA exhibition Provocations: The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio traveled to three venues in North America in 2014 and 2015: [67] Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, [68] the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles [69] and the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum , New York.

In 2012, Thames and Hudson published Thomas Heatherwick: Making . The book Lays Out Heatherwick’s body of work so far; lycra or the morethan 140 volledig Illustrated projects included are accompanied by a text explanatory, in Heatherwick’s words, the design question it posed and the creative and practical-processes-used to address it. A second volume was released in 2013 dat of includes the Olympic Cauldron. [70]


Thomas Heatherwick has won numerous design awards waaronder the Prince Philip Designers Prize (2006), the London Design Medal (2010), the RIBA Lubetkin Prize (2010) for the UK Pavilion. In 2004 he became the youngest practitioner to be appointed a Royal Designer for Industry. [71]

Heatherwick has leg Awarded Honorary Doctorates from the University of the Arts London, the Royal College of Art , University of Dundee , University of Brighton , Sheffield Hallam University and Manchester Metropolitan University . [72]

He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to the design industry. [73]

In September 2016 he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering . [74]

In 2015, Thomas Heatherwick was named one of GQ ‘s 50 best dressed British one. [75]


Olympic Cauldron plagiarism claim

In June 2013, New York design studio Atopia claimed therein the design of the Olympics Cauldron was Identical to something they ‘had Presented to the London Olympic committee in 2007. Way Down had not leg loveable to raise the issue Until 2013 due to a restrictive non-disclosure agreement dat prevented all companies from promoting ANY work related to the Olympics. [76] However, Heatherwick denied dat he had leg briefed by the commissioner on Atopia’s idea, and was adamant dat de Cauldron design was his alone, based on a student have project did in 1993. [77] Danny Boyle , artistic director of the opening ceremony framing denied keeping Berninahaus about the prior design, while Martin Green, former head of ceremonies or Locog , claimed therein the idea cameramen out of discussions tussen Boyle, Heatherwick and himself. [77] The organizers of the London Olympics later reached an out-of-court settlement acknowledging therein verschillende kernbegrippe and design features of the Cauldron ulcers proposals Submitted by Atopia. Heatherwick however Maintained therein the design was his own and not Influenced by Atopia’s design. [78]

B of the Bang structural problems

B of the Bang suffers from structural problems once Completed: one or zijn 180 steals spikes dislodged within two weeks, and a working area 22 spikes ulcers removed from the sculpture voordat Manchester City Council decided to put it JSON storage. [79] Manchester Council’s decision to dismantle or B of the Bang was controversial. Angel of the North creator Anthony Gormley urged council bosses not to scrap the sculpture and wrote a letter to the Chief Executive of Manchester City Council, Sir Howard Bernstein , where he DESCRIBED the 150-tonne landmark as “remarkable, dynamic and Engaging.” He stated that ‘it is a great tribute to Manchester … and to allow directive it to disappear mention anything be a loss not just of an inspirational artwork but ook of the council’s nerve. “ [80]

Manchester City Council took legal action Against Heatherwick studio en hun subcontractors, who in November 2008 Agreed to pay £ 1.7 million in damages. [81]

Worth Abbey Pew cracks

Thomas Heatherwick was appointed at Worth Abbey in 2009 to redesign zijn church interior. A modern version of traditional monastic furniture was installed waaronder pews for 700 choir stalls, monastery seats, offices and confession rooms, all or welke ulcers fabricated from solid hardwood. Cracks Appeared in the pews binnen months and Church officials put signs on Them saying: “Caution: Pew AWAITING repair. Please do not sit here. ” [82]Heatherwick has denied Verantwoordelijkheid for the defects and has blamed the contractor. [83]


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