Thomas Heatherwick is a designer who focuses on making things human. As a child, he was always fascinated by how things worked. Thus, he founded the Heatherwick Studio which he describes as a scaled-up version of his younger 9-year-old self-bedroom.
1. UK Pavilion – Shanghai, China | Thomas Heatherwick
The studio won the competition to design the United Kingdom pavilion for the Shanghai World Expo in 2010. The expo’s theme was the longer term of cities therefore the studio checked out the connection of cities to nature. Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank aims to preserve the seeds of 25 percent of the world’s wild plant species. This collection gave them the thought of creating a structure with a rare texture as the simplest way of connecting the building with its content. The pavilion might be a cathedral to seeds.
Within the broader redevelopment of King’s Cross in central London, the studio has restored and transformed a pair of long Victorian warehouses with attached train viaduct to make a replacement public space and retail destination. The building was built in 1850 to receive coal for London because it arrived by rail from the North of England, the two-stored brick and cast-iron structures were later adapted for light industry, storage, and nightclubs until they fell into disuse by the late 1990s. The studio leads a sensitive restoration of the Victorian structures and cobbled yard to preserve their historic character while adapting them to make an unusual mixture of retail and café spaces.
3. Learning Hub – Singapore, Singapore | Thomas Heatherwick
The studio won a contest to style a special building for Nanyang Technological University in Singapore with the brief to make a learning environment for the digital age. The university staff wanted the structure to push new learning methods within tutorial rooms where students would work along with the tutor as a facilitator.
The studio began to curate a corridor-less building that will make students and teachers come upon one another the maximum amount as possible rather than constructing a typical big university building box, the team gave the structure a more human scale by breaking it down into individual tutorial rooms then stacking them on top of every other to create a series of twelve small blocks
The project was awarded the best Singapore environmental award of Green Mark Platinum.
Following the success of the United Kingdom Pavilion for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, the studio was invited to make a replacement multi-use complex next to the Shanghai art district. M50. The studio aimed to design a building that might relate to the park and humanities district and while meeting the client’s requirement for an oversized scale.
5. Zeitz MOCAA – Cape Town, South Africa | Thomas Heatherwick
The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront had approached the studio to develop and to tan the positioning to make Africa’s first International Museum dedicated to contemporary African Art. The initial building was composed of two main elements regarding the tower and a block of 42 tightly-packed silos. Instead of resorting to wholesale demolition, the studio took on the challenge to convert the multitude of concrete tubes into spaces to display art while retaining the silo’s industrial character.
The studio won a contest to sign 4 million area unit development for the Bund in Shanghai’s last empty site at the pivot point between the Bund’s historic grand colonial buildings. The city’s old town and a financial district. Deciding to collaborate on an equal basis with Foster Partners a scheme was developed that reconciled the client’s requirement for offices, hotel retail spaces, and also the city plan’s requirement for a skyscraper.
7. Vessel – New York, United States | Thomas Heatherwick
Vessel – the studio was invited to style a public centerpiece for Hudson Yards, a replacement 11-hectare development on Manhattan’s side that sits above a large rail yard. To make something meaningful, the studio wanted to make a structure that visitors could use, touch, and relate to. It developed the concept of a landmark that might be climbed and explored. Drawing inspiration from the traditional step wells of India, the studio sought to evoke the powerful effect. At the center of this huge new district, the vessel represents the intention for Hudson yards to make a meaningful public legacy for brand spanking New York.
8. Little Island – New York, United States
Following a design competition, the Hudson River Park Trust and businessman and philanthropist Barry Diller appointed Heatherwick Studio to build a new pier on Manhattan’s southwest riverside. The pier needed to be both a public park and a world-class outdoor performance space. Interested in the hundreds of old wooden piles which stuck out of the Hudson River as the structural remains of the old piers that had previously existed, the studio wondered if the identity of the new pier could come from focusing on its structural piles. The idea evolved to take the new concrete out of the water, extending piles that would be needed and to continue them skyward to raise sections of a green landscape. Fusing as they meet, these individual piles come together to form the topography of the park.
9. Al Fayah Park – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
The studio was asked to reconcile a serious place of land in the national capital as a public park. The present public space evoked the fashion of an ECU park by covering the desert with a blanket of grass which required a major amount of water to keep up itself under the scorching sun. Inquisitive about the natural patterns of the local landscape, the studio began to explore the shapes created when earth cracks from the warmth of the sun. Between the fissures, a lush oasis is revealed beneath. Protected against the cruel way over the desert sun, this partially-shaded garden of plants and mature trees forms a series of interconnected recreational spaces for families to assemble and picnic, with pools and streams, cafes, play spaces, a library, and community vegetable gardens. Within the cooler evening hours, the elevated plates above become a network of social and meeting places.
10. Bombay Sapphire Distillery – Hampshire, United Kingdom | Thomas Heatherwick
Originally developed as a mill for the British empire’s banknote paper which was later converted to a distillery to make gin. Over two centuries space had become a sprawling and chaotic accumulation of over forty buildings. The River Test, one of England’s finest chalk streams, flows through space but has been narrowed and partially hidden within a steep-sided concrete channel. Because the gin recipe uses both tropical and Mediterranean botanical plants to infuse the flavor, the team designed two intertwining glasshouses for climatic conditions, within which to grow the various species. Their particular form comes from the way they use the surplus heat from the distillation process that would otherwise normally be thrown away, which is now used as free energy to build the non-British climate needed to nurture the nonnative plants.
The project was the first distillery and also the first refurbishment project to receive a BREEAM outstanding rating
11. New Routemaster – London, United Kingdom
Dissatisfied with the functioning of the city’s public buses, the Mayor of London decided to commission a new bus for the capital in fifty years. The studio was commissioned to collaborate with the vehicle’s manufacturer on its design. Seen as a re-conception of the classic Routemaster bus, the new one would wish to be completely accessible, minimize the time taken to load and unload passengers, use 40 percent less fuel than existing buses and be affordable. The most similarity to the Routemaster was that it might have an open platform, but with the choice of an electrical door when required. Employing a simple palette of colors and materials and a bespoke family of details, the studio developed the interior that was calm and coordinated. One thousand vehicles were commissioned and also the first six were on the streets in time for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
12. Google King’s Cross – London, United Kingdom | Thomas Heatherwick
Following their collaboration to style Google’s new campus in California, Heatherwick Studio and BIG were commissioned to form the company’s new headquarters in London. The team’s focus wasn’t just to create special workspaces but to seek out an architectural language that would fit into the local people of King’s Cross and an intense urban context. Influenced by these surroundings the team chose to treat the project as a chunk of infrastructure made up of a family of interchangeable elements and with the same quality of flexibility as old industrial buildings which might be reused in many ways over time. For a corporation whose fame comes from a virtual world of knowledge, this project is a component of it engaging within the public physical world in a new way. Internally the workplace, with its triple height ceilings, is intended to bring people together and build connectedness and opportunities for chance encounters Externally the panoramic sculpted garden will give unprecedented views to town around and at the bottom.
13. Google Mountain View – California, United States
Renowned technology firm Google invited the studio to style its new campus and headquarters at Mountain View, California unitedly with Bjarke Ingels Group. Because it will be the company’s first purpose-built office buildings, the planning would be the primary physical manifestation of its approach to workplace design. To stay pace with the fast-evolving nature of the technology industry, the approach was to treat the new building structures more like large hangers or airport terminals within which a series of flexible internal structures can be enclosed and treated more like large adaptable furniture design, free from the constraints of being a standard building envelope. The design would allow project teams to rearrange office spaces quickly and efficiently to adapt to the users changing needs.
14. Pacific Place – Hong Kong, Hong Kong
One of the foremost valuable pieces of reality in the world, Pacific Place could be a complex of office towers, hotels and a mall within the center of the port that functions almost sort of like a settlement. The studio was to rework the experience and operations, addressing problems with circulation and wayfinding, improving sightlines between floors, introducing a brand new palette of materials, textures and detailing, and reducing energy consumption. However, the studio’s approach wasn’t to treat each aspect as a separate project but instead to form a family of the many details guided by a common philosophy. The best physical transformation was the reconfiguration of the arena that forms the bottom of the towers and acts as Pacific Place exterior door. Previously dominated by a route and barely accessible to pedestrians, it’s now an open and attractive public space.
15. EDEN – Singapore, Singapore | Thomas Heatherwick
Heatherwick Studio was commissioned to style a dwelling within the historic Newton district of Singapore. Inspired by the vision of a ‘city during a garden imagined by Lee Kuan Yew fifty years ago, and by the lush tropical setting of the realm, the studio’s design will be a radical departure from the glass and steel tower typology. The studio started to craft homes within a garden that also harnessed all the advantages of apartment living; an area where residents would feel connected to the city’s tree-lined streets whilst enjoying views, light, and privacy. The building represents a singular way of living within the city, with its combination of evocative natural materials, textures and made details and its celebration of the area’s natural landscape. Over time, the building is intended to mature, because the lush planting grows, sort of a sapling that has taken root beneath the streets, pulling the landscape of Singapore up into the sky.