The London based architectural practice Heatherwick Studio, founded in 1994 by Thomas Heatherwick, recently unveiled the UK Pavilion for the World Expo in Shanghai.
Held under the auspices of the Bureau International des Expositions, the Shanghai Expo will be the largest the world has ever seen. Staged on a 5,28 km2 city centre site beside the Huangpu River, it features pavilions representing the ideas and cultural and commercial ambitions of more than 200 countries and international organisations.
Get here some information about the remarkable optic fibre facade of the Seed Cathedral in the center of the Pavilion:
“The Seed Cathedral sits in the centre of the UK Pavilion’s site, 20 metres in height, formed from 60,000 slender transparent fibre optic rods, each 7.5 metres long and each encasing one or more seeds at its tip. During the day, they draw daylight inwards to illuminate the interior. At night, light sources inside each rod allow the whole structure to glow. As the wind moves past, the building and its optic “hairs” gently move to create a dynamic effect. Heatherwick previously experimented with texture and architecture at a much smaller scale with his Sitooterie projects. The Seed Cathedral is the ultimate development of this. Inside the darkened inner sanctum of the Seed Cathedral, the tips of the fibre optic filaments form an apparently hovering galaxy of slim vitrines containing a vast array of embedded seeds. The seeds have been sourced from China’s Kunming Institute of Botany, a partner in Kew Royal Botanic Gardens’ Millennium Seed Bank Project. Visitors will pass through this tranquil, contemplative space, surrounded by the tens of thousands of points of light illuminating the seeds.”