When I interviewed Soren Luckins from Buro North last week, he listed Thomas Heatherwick as one of the designers he is most inspired by. I dutifully googled and linked to the Heatherwick Studio website… and all day at work my colleagues and I were oohing and ahhing in unison over Heatherwick Studio’s incredible portfolio! The work is truly stunning and utterly unique – each project seems to seamlessly blend fine art, design, architecture and installation into one breathtaking outcome. It would be my dream to produce work like this! Ahhhh one day.
The Wellcome Trust is a biomedical research charity in the UK. Heatherwick studio was asked to design a sculpture for its new headquarters, to be displayed in an 8-storey void above a pool of water in the building’s foyer. This piece was created using 142,000 glass spheres suspended on 27,000 steel wires; 12 tonnes of glass and just under a million metres of wire created a total weight of 14 tonnes. Each individual sphere was made in Poland in a spectacle lens factory! Stunning.
Heatherwick Studio were asked to design the interior of a new restaurant in a heritage listed building, but to avoid the design stereotypes usually associated with the contemporary, up-market gastro-pub. The solution was inspired by the building’s original and traditional ‘pub-style’ windows. The frame of each of the fifty-seven window panes is fringed with hundreds of fine metal chains, drawn up into draped bundles which are slung over hooks in the ceiling before flaring downwards to form lampshades over every table, using a total of 110 kilometres of chain.
Have you ever seen anything more spectacular in hospitality design? Me neither.
This amazing installation at Harvey Nichols in London was for London Fashion Week way back in 1997. Which doesn’t explain why I have never seen these incredible images before! This installation won the prestigious D&AD Gold award at the time. I must have been living under a rock.
Many many more images to sift through at the Heatherwick Studio website. (Thanks for the link Soren!)