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Thomas Heatherwick

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February 17, 1970 (54)

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Thomas Heatherwick, CBE RA RDI HonFREng, is an English designer and the founder of Heatherwick Studio, a London-based design practice. He is recognized for his unique approach to design, with projects spanning architecture, engineering, and sculpture. Heatherwick’s notable works include the UK pavilion at Expo 2010, the Olympic cauldron for the 2012 Summer Olympics, Vessel in New York City, and the New Routemaster bus.

Heatherwick’s career is marked by a diverse range of projects that blend design and architecture. His work on the UK pavilion at Expo 2010, known as the “Seed Cathedral,” was widely acclaimed. The pavilion featured 60,000 fiber-optic rods, each containing plant seeds, symbolizing the potential of nature and cities coexisting. Another significant project, the Olympic cauldron for the 2012 Summer Olympics, consisted of 204 copper petals, each representing a competing nation, brought together to form a single flame. Heatherwick’s design for Vessel, a honeycomb-like structure of interconnected staircases in New York City’s Hudson Yards, has become an iconic landmark.

Collaborations have been a key aspect of Heatherwick’s career. He has worked with various architects, engineers, and artists to bring his visionary projects to life. His collaboration with the engineering firm Arup for the Rolling Bridge in London’s Paddington Basin and with the landscape architect Thomas Woltz for the Hudson Yards Public Square in New York City are examples of his interdisciplinary approach.

Heatherwick’s work has been recognized with numerous awards and honors. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to the design industry. His projects have received various accolades, including the RIBA National Award for the East Beach Café and the gold medal of the Bureau International des Expositions for the UK pavilion at Expo 2010.