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Thomas Heatherwick

Online since 29.10.2017 • Filed under Professions - Architecture • From Issue 22 page(s) 43
Thomas Heatherwick

By Gareth Griffiths

Thomas Heatherwick, CBE, is the dynamic founder and principal designer at the Heatherwick Design Studio founded in 1994. Since then, he has emerged as an award-winning architect whose signature projects speak for themselves.


He recently rose to prominence in the South African context by way of the internationally lauded Grain Silo project at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, the project better known as Zeitz MOCAA. (Museum of Contemporary Art Africa), co-founded by Jochen Zeitz and the V&A Waterfront.


Heatherwick is charismatic and engaging with an audience, often leaving them spellbound with his graphic tales of how his different design elements work.


He says that he comes from a background immersed in materials and making. His curiosity and passion for problem-solving matured into the studio’s current design process where every architect, designer, landscape architect and maker is encouraged to challenge and contribute ideas.

Hence his excitement about the V&A Silo project.


‘When the old paint was removed (from the Silo walls) we found that the concrete had warmth – almost adobe like - with blue stones inside,’ he comments, referring to the Table Mountain stone used in the original concrete aggregate.


Other leading projects

Scheduled for completion in the Autumn of 2018, Vessel is a new public landmark for the Hudson Yards development in Manhattan. According to a Heatherwick Studio press release, Vessel, commissioned by Related Companies, will be the centrepiece of the largest development in New York City since the Rockefeller Centre.


The design creates a landmark that can be climbed and explored and the structure will have 2,400 steps and 80 landings to create a mile of pathway in a vertical public space.


Other projects underway include the Coal Drops Yard, a new public space and retail destination in King’s Cross, London, and the Bund Finance Centre, a prominent new mixed-use destination in Shanghai - designed jointly by Heatherwick Studio and Foster + Partners. This busy and creative international practice also boasts Google as a client, for whom campus projects are underway in the USA and UK.


Thomas Heatherwick Studio



Issue 22

Issue 22

November 2017

This article was featured on page 43 of
To Build Magazine Issue 22.

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