Day 315/365 of Steel – Thomas Heatherwick

Thomas Alexander Heatherwick, (born 17 February 1970) is an English designer and the founder of London-based design practice Heatherwick Studio. He studied three-dimensional design at Manchester Polytechnic and at the Royal College of Art (RCA). In his final year at RCA, Heatherwick met designer Terence Conran who became his mentor.

Heatherwick’s projects include the Rolling Bridge at Paddington Bassin, the East Beach Café, B of the Bang in Manchester, the Coals Drop Yard in London, The Bombay Sapphire Distillery in Hampshire and the Vessel in New York City.

The Rolling Bridge

Fig 1: Thomas Heatherwick’s Rolling Bridge in Paddington Basin.
Photo: Loz Pycock/CC BY-SA 2.0

In 2002 Heatherwick Studio designed The Rolling Bridge (also known as “the curling bridge”) as part of a redevelopment of Paddington Basin. To give access to upcoming water traffic, the bridge curls into an octagon.

The bridge consists of eight triangular sections hinged at the walkway level and is connected above by two part links that collapse towards the deck under the control of hydraulic pistons. The Rolling Bridge won the 2005 British Constructional Steelwork Association’s Structural Steel Award.

East Beach Café

In 2007 Heatherwick Studio completed the East Beach Café at Littlehampton, West Sussex. The large steel structure houses a café by daytime and restaurant in the evening.

East Beach Cafe
Fig 3: East Beach Cafe
Photo: THOR

The concept allowed the steel to rust and the colors to develop over time before being fixed with a transparent oil. The café won a RIBA National Award in 2008.

About the Author:

Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.

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