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New Pied Piper of Architecture: Thomas Heatherwick

United Kingdom Architecture News - Nov 11, 2016 - 18:48   16110 views

New Pied Piper of Architecture: Thomas Heatherwick

Why we love Thomas Heatherwick? What he changed in the design world? Why his projects are so sculptural and harmonised with good 'materiality'? Architecture critic Paul Goldberger writes a fascinating piece about Thomas Heatherwick, describing his peerless architecture and briefly touching upon his personal life. 


Heatherwick is part architect, part furniture designer, part product designer, part researcher, part landscape architect, and part Pied Piper of design, and the things he comes up with manage somehow to be at once charming and brash. A Heatherwick design is invariably ingenious, and there is usually an element of surprise to it: who doesn’t remember his design for the Olympic Cauldron at the 2012 London Olympics, made up of 204 copper petals—each one representing one of the national teams and brought into the stadium by one of its athletes—which were then set atop one of 204 copper pipes and magically fused together to become the cauldron? If it was the kind of design that seemed a bit too aware of its own cleverness, no one could deny that it was beautiful, and that the moment of its reveal was breathtaking.

Heatherwick seems well on his way to becoming a 21st-century version of Charles and Ray Eames, the prolific designers who impacted everything from furniture to film to exhibition design. The Eames name became a household word in the process, and in the 1950s and 1960s it was all but synonymous with modern design. Heatherwick shares not only the Eameses’ determination to be wide-ranging but also their fascination with technology, their interest in communication, and, most important of all, their passionate belief in the meaning of actually making things and in using materials in new ways......Continue Reading

Top image © Olivier Hess

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