So… At the moment, the office is working on a fitout of a part of a large department store. This is such a cool project! It reminds me of being back in college actually- scrolling through websites to find works that will serve as inspiration… making 3d and computer models to show the client what is hoped to achieve! Shop fitouts are incredibly exciting… What I love about them is the speed at which they will get constructed. No one knows more than the client how important it is to get punters back through the door and as soon as you put pen to paper the race is on! I just love it when you see your entire design completed in less than 3 months!
Anyway, in the course of the research today we came across a British Designer, Thomas Heatherwick. Heatherwick set up his studios in 1994. They are well reknowned for their work in architecture, sculpture, urban infrastructure, product design and exhibition design. An article in Wired has Heatherwick described as “the modern day da Vinci”. Heatherwick designs from an engineering perspective, creating sculptures and form that are truly unexpected. These were my favourites:
The Wellcome Trust asked him to create a gigantic sculpture inside their London headquarters – but the brief indicated that it would have to be small enough to fit through the front door. So he went one better, and made it out of glass beads small enough to fit through the letterbox! The sculpture contains hundreds of thousands of these little glass beads suspended by cables.
This rolling bridge, across the Thames, took on this rolling shape because the location made it impossible to create a conventional ‘lifting’ bridge to allow boats to pass through. His bridge silently and elegantly closes when it’s not in use.
Here is the East Beach Cafe in Littlehampton, a traditional seaside town on England’s south coast which was completed in 2007 and commissioned to replace an existing seafront kiosk. The narrow site sits between the sea and a parade of houses and is exposed to weather and vandalism. The studio’s response was to produce a long, thin building without flat, two-dimensional façades.
The building is sliced diagonally into ribbons which wrap up and over the building, forming a layered protective shell, open to the sea in front. The opening is filled with glass doors and windows, protected at night by roller shutters concealed within the building’s geometry, the 30-centimetre width of the ribbons being the dimension of a shutter mechanism.
In contrast to the conventional white-washed seaside aesthetic, the building is raw and weathered, its structural steel shell finished with an oil-based coating that permits a rust-like patination to develop without affecting structural performance. The new cafe acts as a kiosk and cafeteria by day and a restaurant in the evening.
All in our office unanimously agreed that this is just brilliant stuff!
What do you think…?