In 2010 Thomas Heatherwick designed and created the ‘Seed Cathedral’ for the UK’s pavilion in Shanghai, The ‘cathedral contained over 60,000 25 foot acrylic optic fibers which each held a seed. During the six month period the ‘Cathedral’ was open, it was visited by some 8 million people and won the gold medal for pavilion design. The pavilion was designed with the idea of ‘Better city, better life’ and Heatherwick moved onto the idea of cities and nature, which bought about the collaboration with Kew garden’s millennium seed bank partnership who were aiming to collect 25% of the worlds seeds by 2020.
I am not a huge fan of the architectural design of this building as i find it a bit too modern and plain, which i feel somewhat contrasts the wonder of nature, but what a fabulous idea. It is so easy to forget the magic of nature when you’re trapped in a cement jungle and i feel that this piece represents nature in the uniform and sterile manner of a city. Seeds are the beginning. A tiny casing filled with potential and excitement and here Heatherwick has filled a whole cathedral with them. There is also so much importance in documenting, as unlike extinct animal species there is still some hope to retain certain plants if their seeds have been stored. We humans have such a devastating and profound effect on the earth, i think it is very important that we begin to own up to our faults and restore what we can, which can be greatly achieve by education and wonderful art works such as this.