In September 2007, Heatherwick Studio led the winning team in the competition to design the UK Pavilion for the Shanghai 2010 Expo. The event is set to be the largest Expo ever with two hundred countries taking part and over 70 million visitors expected. The theme of the Expo is “Better City, Better Life” and a key client objective is for the UK Pavilion to be one of the five most popular attractions.
The Seed Cathedral is a 20-metre high building, constructed from 60,000 transparent 7.5-metre long optical strands, each of which has embedded within its tip a seed. The interior is silent and illuminated only by the daylight that has filtered past each seed through each optical hair; a quiet space in which to contemplate this formidable collection of the world’s botanical resources.
At least five million people are expected to pass through the UK Pavilion, which has consistently ranked in the top five most popular pavilions with the public in the run up to the opening.