The sizzling finale of the London 2012 Opening Ceremony saw the Olympic cauldron’s 204 flaming copper petals rise and unite in one glorious crucible supported by slender stems. Designed by the Heatherwick Studio, the cauldron is surely the most elegant and innovative cauldron of any Games thus far.
You can see more of the Heatherwick Studio’s work in the Designing the Extraordinary exhibition at London’s V&A Museum until 30 September 2012 as well as around the UK. Here are some of our favourite pieces.
Rolling Bridge, Paddington Basin, London
Heatherwick’s Rolling Bridge lifts by curling in on itself to form a circular structure on the waterside. Unfurled, it looks like any other foot bridge. But every Friday at midday it lifts, curls up on itself to form a sculptural octagon and allows boats to pass. The bridge is engineering at its best – practical, innovative and stylish.
A New Bus for London
Plying London bus route 73 from Victoria to East London, Heatherwick’s updated design for the Routemaster is a triumph of aesthetics and sustainable design. Its sculpted rear end echoes the streamlined modernism of the 1930s while its engine is bang up-to-date with the latest green technology. And, with doors at either end, you can hop on and off just like on the original Routemaster.
East Beach Café, Littlehampton, Sussex
Sculpted like rippled sand and rusted by the elements, the East Beach Café is a typically bold design from Heatherwick. Since opening in 2007, the building has scooped numerous design and architecture awards and the food is similarly acclaimed. Tuck into crab linguine, mussels or squid and savour the view over the Channel from one of Britain’s boldest buildings.
Bleigiessen, Wellcome Trust, London
The hanging, shimmering form of ‘Bleigiessen’ dangles for 30m in the lobby of a London office block. Made from 150,000 glass spheres suspended on wires, it’s based on a random shape formed when molten lead was poured into spinning water. Public tours of ‘Bleigiessen‘ are available on the last Friday of every month at 2pm.