Saudi Arabia, a country going through a tremendous transition, is not only changing its skyline but also redefining its identity on a global level. As part of their 2030 Vision serving as the compass, the kingdom is moving toward new developments, aiming to revive culture and diversify the economy. In fact, the capital, Riyadh, is leading the transformation by hosting the 2030 World Expo. Representing the country’s dedication to advancement, several mega projects are taking place and transforming the kingdom's fabric.
Amidst the various projects, many world-renowned firms are working on these mega projects at many different scales. For example, the cultural renaissance is shown through Snøhetta’s Opera House in Diriyah, while the Jeddah Tower is on a trajectory that will overtake the Burj Khalifa. In the meantime, Heatherwick Studio’s conversion of a Jeddah desalination plant into a thriving cultural center showcases their repurposing of industrial spaces. From coastal projects by Foster + Partners to city center skyscrapers that are redefining the skyline, the country is undergoing significant transformations in its built environment.
Heatherwick Studio’s exhibition “Building Soulfulness” just opened at the Bund Finance Center in Shanghai. Curated by Mami Kataoka, it will run from January 17th to March 14th, 2024. The display celebrates the studio’s designs, emphasizing their enduring connection with China. The exhibition is taking place at the Fosun Foundation inside the Bund Finance Center, which was designed by Heatherwick Studios and Foster + Partners back in 2017.
Heatherwick Studio has revealed their first public library design, planned for Howard County Libraries in Maryland, United States. The building will serve as a community center and was designed to reflect the changing and complex role of libraries within cities. The program expands beyond book lending services, providing spaces for cultural events, collective learning, workshops and lending of objects of use. Construction is expected to begin in 2024, and the library is scheduled to open to the public in 2027.
Heatherwick Studio has unveiled a new project to transform an old desalinization plant into the centerpiece of a new cultural district on the waterfront of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The industrial structure is set to be reconfigured to become The Museum, large complex offering production spaces, studios, and ateliers for artists and makers. Its program also includes exhibition spaces that can accommodate large-scale commissions to help visitors to learn and feel inspired by the next generation of artists.
With many high streets hollowing out and the National Health Services Association pushed to its limits, Heatherwick Studio is calling for a new kind of health space in metropolitan cities. The Health Street initiative is placed right at the heart of urban communities, reimagining the way we look at well-being and the holistic health of complete localities. Moreover, this radical approach to health creation is based on integrating community-led facilities into the local high streets.
Heatherwick Studio has been commissioned to redesign and transform a central element of Harley-Davidson’s Headquarters in Milwaukee, US, the Juneau Avenue campus. The location is set to become a public park and green gathering space for the employees of the motorcycle company, as well as for the local community. In its center, the park features a large-scale amphitheater and sunken multi-use events space designed to be accessible to motorcycle riders. The project is set to break ground in 2023, with the park becoming available for use by the summer of 2024.
KPF and Heatherwick Studio have revealed the design for the fifth terminal of Changi Airport in Singapore. The concept behind it revolves around the concept of “airport as a city”, presenting itself as a social extension of the namesake district of Changi, at the eastern end of Singapore. The terminal is planned to add a capacity of 50 million passengers per year. Instead of a single monotonous structure, the terminal is comprised of a series of human-centered social spaces, offering different qualities of light, atmosphere, and experience to both visitors and residents of Singapore.
Heatherwick Studio, in collaboration with The Woolbeding Charity and the National Trust, have unveiled their latest project, a kinetic Glasshouse and Silk Route Garden set on the edge of Woolbeding Gardens, a historic estate in West Sussex. The unfolding structure serves as a focal point to a new garden that highlights how ancient Silk Route has influenced English gardens of today. The structure features ten steel ‘sepals’ with a glass and aluminum façade, which creates a 141 sqm space in the shape of a crown once it opens.
Heatherwick Studio is taking part of this year’s Royal Academy Summer Exhibition with two retrofit projects in the United Kingdom: Broad Marsh in Nottingham and Parnham Park in Dorset. Titled "Ruins Reimagined", the exhibition presents two different approaches to reusing existing architecture, from a Grade I-listed 16th century house to a partially demolished 1970’s shopping center, each offering a unique response in scale and heritage to the Summer Exhibition’s theme of ‘climate’. The models are on display in the Architecture Room until 21st August. This year, the Architecture Room is curated by Niall McLaughlin RA and Rana Begum RA, and will sit across two spaces, mixing art and architecture together.
Google’s first ground-up campus, designed by BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group and Heatherwick Studios in collaboration with Google’s design and engineering teams, opened in Silicon Valley. The campus’ mission is to create a human-centric design for the future of Google’s workplace and set new global sustainability standards for construction and office design. The site aims to operate entirely on carbon-free energy by 2030; it integrates the most extensive geothermal pile system in North America and is net-water positive. The campus also includes 17 acres of high-value natural areas, including wet meadows, woodlands, and marsh.
It is nearly impossible nowadays not to present accompanying renders when proposing a new project. No matter the method, software or style that is used, it is a valuable reference that bares more practical weight than one might think. Not only can it be one of the closest possible representations of the architect's vision, if approved, it can also become a promise to clients, investors, and the general public.
When it comes to works from renowned architects, the render becomes a critical reference to the project participants and to the expectant community. A lot of details can be developed and considered when creating the images. In most cases, special attention is brought to the lighting, materials, and context in order to make the most accurate representation possible.
Heatherwick Studio has been selected to design a tropical opera house for the island province of Hainan at the southernmost point of China, the studio's first opera house or music venue project. The design features three performance spaces: an opera house, a concert hall, and a theatre, that come together under a sweeping canopy referencing to the island’s unique geology.
Following the Seoul Metropolitan Government's announcement of reviving and expanding the city's Olympic Jamsil Sports–MICE Complex, Heatherwick Studio has proposed a dynamic multi-leveled pier that promotes notions of "community spirit, activity, equality, play, and togetherness". Titled The Leaf, the project will feature plant-covered platforms built on the Han River, and will offer visitors recreational and cultural spaces across a floating platform.
Heatherwick Studio has unveiled an entirely new update for its 1700 Alberni Towers residential project in Vancouver, British Columbia. The new design features extended outdoor living areas with soaring views of the surrounding built environment and landscape, inspired by the province's strong connection with the wilderness, as well as the use of long-lasting, local materials.
Haworth Tompkins, Heatherwick Studio and Spparc have shared new details of the first major new London theatre in over 45 years. The Olympia Theatre is part of the £1.3bn redevelopment of the Olympia exhibition center designed by Heatherwick Studio and Spparc. The 1,575-seat venue in west London will be operated by Trafalgar Entertainment, and the design includes a five-story building with a stacked auditorium.
The RENAZCA international competition has released a shortlist for the design of the financial district of Azca in Madrid, Spain, according to El Pais. Directed by IE School of Architecture and Design Martha Thorne and Edgar González, the competition aims to transform the district into the most important economic and cultural node in the Spanish capital. The winning team will be chosen at the end of January 2021 and will have the task of transforming the sector into a "new, open, sustainable urban space connected to the city."
Heatherwick Studio has designed the Cove, a new waterfront experience for San Francisco. Seeking to activate and improve the beachfront, “while future-proofing the historic district and the City against the risks of earthquakes and climate change”, the Cove will put in place a next-generation, high-performance waterfront community that uniquely identifies with San Francisco.
Design and the City is a podcast by reSITE, raising questions and proposing solutions for the city of the future. In the first episode, Thomas Heatherwick founder of Heatherwick Studios discusses the notion of Designing on a Human Scale, describes his conceptual approach and introduces his latest venture in the heart of historic Prague. Joining the interview is ArchDaily editor, Christele Harrouk.