London Mayor Boris Johnson has approved plans for the Thomas Heatherwick-designed Garden Bridge. The approval from the mayor is the third and final green light for the bridge, having previously been accepted by both Lambeth and Westminster councils. The project is now likely to begin construction within a year – in line with a self-imposed deadline by the Garden Bridge Trust that will allow them to complete the project before works on the proposed Thames Tideway Tunnel cause disruption on the site.
Update: Today Westminster Council approved the Garden Bridge proposals - the second of three required approvals - with councillors voting 3-1 in favour of the bridge. Though London Mayor Boris Johnson still has to officially rule on the plans, it is almost certain that he will ultimately give the go-ahead to the project as he has previously voiced his support for the idea. The following article was originally published on November 13th, after Lambeth Council granted the bridge its first approval.
Last week, Thomas Heatherwick unveiled his fairytale-like designs for what will hopefully be New York‘s latest and most ambitious park, Pier 55 (with apologies to the High Line, New York’s last ”next big thing” in the public park arena). Envisaged as an undulating artificial landscape on a cloud of mushroom-like supports, Pier 55 has the internet buzzing. In this interview with FastCo Design, Heatherwick discusses the inspirations behind his latest project, explaining how everything including New York’s street grid, the ruins of Pier 54 and yes, even the city’s other recent global green space phenomenon, have manifested themselves in his latest madcap creation. Read the full article here for more.
After gaining the first in a series of required planning approvals last week, Thomas Heatherwick‘s highly controversial Garden Bridge proposal has once again come under fire from a variety of opponents, with campaign group Thames Central Open Space (TCOS) dubbing it a “luvvies’ folly,” and the Guardian’s architecture critic Oliver Wainwright saying that it is “not in fact a bridge – in the sense of being a public right of way across the river – but another privately managed tourist attraction, on which £60m of public money is to be lavished.”
Much of this new assault is the result of the 46 conditions which came with Lambeth Council’s recommendation to grant the bridge planning approval, which as BD Online uncovered, include closing the bridge between 12 and 6am, a ban on cycling, and a restriction of group sizes to 8 people or fewer, unless booked in advance.
Thomas Heatherwick is set to expand his international reputation in the coming year, thanks to two exhibitions that will tour the United States and East Asia, reports the Architects’ Journal. The US exhibition, titled “Provocations: The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio” will tour Dallas, LA and New York from September 2014 to October 2015. The Asia exhibit is yet to be formally announced, although it is believed it will begin in Singapore in Spring 2015. Read on after the break for more details of the exhibitions.
The Maggie’s cancer charity has announced Thomas Heatherwick as the latest high-profile designer who will contribute to the Maggie’s Centre program, with a site at the new Bexley Wing of St James’s University Hospital in Leeds. The new centre will be the first Maggie’s in Yorkshire, with Heatherwick joining the likes of Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry and Steven Holl in the list of Maggie’s Centre designers.
More on the appointment after the break
In an interesting analysis in the Guardian, Olly Wainwright draws attention to the questionable process by which of Thomas Heatherwick‘s Garden Bridge proposal has gained such strong support from the British government. It is, according to Wainwright, the product of “one voguish designer, one national treasure and one icon-hungry mayor” – however he contends that compared to other more needed potential bridges over the Thames, the Garden Bridge may just be ”a spectacular solution to a problem that doesn’t really exist,” and a terrific waste of infrastructure funds. You can read the article in full here.
The Royal Academy of Arts’ annual Summer Exhibition is the world’s largest open submission exhibition providing “a unique platform for emerging and established artists to showcase their works to an international audience.” From 12,000 total works of art, spanning a complete range of disciplines, 140 architectural works have been selected and hung by Royal Academician and Architect Eric Parry, after some early dialogue with former RIBA President Sir Richard MacCormac. Work featured this year includes a model by Thomas Heatherwick and prints by Louisa Hutton of Sauerbruch Hutton, alongside Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid, Nicholas Grimshaw, Richard Rogers and Eva Jiřičná.
The largest private project New York City has seen in over 100 years may also be the smartest. In a recent article on Engadget, Joseph Volpe explores the resilience of high-tech ideas such as clean energy and power during Sandy-style storms. With construction on the platform started, the Culture Shed awaiting approval, and Thomas Heatherwick designing a 75-Million dollar art piece and park – the private project is making incredible headway. But with the technology rapidly evolving, how do investors know the technology won’t become obsolete before its even built?
Imagine forty-two, 33 meter high concrete tubes each with a diameter of 5.5 meters, with no open space to experience the volume from within. The brief from the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) for London-based Heatherwick Studio was to “reimagine the Grain Silo Complex at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront with an architectural intervention inspired by its own historic character,” calling for a “solution unique for Africa” in order to create “the highest possible quality of exhibition space for the work displayed inside.” Heatherwick’s response will be the creation of a “a new kind of museum in an African context.”
Alan Faena — prominent argentine developer — is partnering with an all-star cast of celebrated artists, architects and Hollywood darlings to revive the decadence of the roaring twenties, envisioning a booming cultural “epicenter” for the city of Miami. The development, Faena Miami Beach, would include the restoration of the historic Saxony Hotel (the original symbol of opulent resorts along Florida beaches), the construction of new luxury apartments by Foster + Partners and the Rem Koolhaas/OMA-designed Faena Arts Center and Artist Residency. Review them all after the break.
Related Companies founder Stephen Ross has commissioned London designer and architect Thomas Heatherwick to design what could be, according to the Wall Street Journal, “one of the most expensive works of public art in the world.” Planned to be the centerpiece of Related’s Hudson Yards project in Manhattan’s West Side, the estimated $75 million artwork and its surrounding 4-acre public space aims to become “new icon for the city.”
Hay Festival Segovia just announced that UK designer Thomas Heatherwick will be the keynote speaker for the architecture and design sessions at the Spanish edition of Hay Festival set to take place in Segovia September 27-30. In an hour-long conversation entitled The Truffle Pig Process, Thomas Heatherwick will be talking to Martha Thorne, executive director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize and associate dean of external relations at IE School of Architecture & Design (IE University), about his studio’s creative process and the increasingly blurred borders between design, architecture and society. More information on the event after the break.
One of the “best-kept secrets” of the opening ceremony was the Thomas Heatherwick-designed 2012 Olympic cauldron that dazzled viewers world-wide last night as it was ignited by seven young British athletes in a very unique lighting ceremony.
Representing each nation competing in the London Olympics, 204 “very small humble” copper petals were carried out alongside national flags and competitors – each inscribed with the name of the country and the words “XX Olympiad London 2012”. The petals were then attached to long, stainless steel stems that formed ten rings that appeared as an open flower. Once ignited, the flames quickly spread to each petal and then gently rose up to unite as a single flame.
Continue after the break for more on the design.
Today we had the chance of attending the opening of this impressive exhibition. As we mentioned previously some weeks ago, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London prepared this event focused on the work of the British firm Heatherwick Studio, responsable for the last Shanghai 2010 British Pavilion, as well as the Rolling Bridge, or the New Bus for London that was just released in the 38 route. The exhibition comprises a large range of different scales of design, going from specific objects or furniture, to large infrastructural and urban projects. It will be open for the public from next Thursday 31st.
One of the most impressive pavilions at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 was the UK Pavilion, designed by Thomas Heatherwick. In this book, we can see not only the impressive pavilion, but also a comprehensive overview covering the studio’s entire history. Over 150 projects are represented, each fully illustrated with images selected from Heatherwick’s personal and studio archives.
More information after the break.
In the past, we’ve shared several TED Talks videos with you as the speakers offer interesting commentary on a variety of issues within the creative realm. In this presentation, Thomas Heatherwick of Heatherwick Studio shares five projects ranging from a new bus to a moving bridge to a biomass power station. Each project illustrates the architect’s inherent interest in bio-inspired designs focusing on materiality and the relationship between human interaction and the scale of the built object. The talk shows a diverse body of work where the architecture is infused with a type of ”soulfulness” as the result of re-examining form, function, aesthetics and materiality. Plus, Heatherwick’s personality adds to its charm. Enjoy the video!