Dezeen Magazine

Thomas Heatherwick wins British Shanghai Expo Pavilion competition

Breaking news: we understand that Thomas Heatherwick has won the competition for the British pavilion at Shanghai World Expo 2010, beating architects including Zaha Hadid, John McAslan and Marks Barfield. The decision is expected to be confirmed later today (Friday). More info on the competition and shortlist in our previous stories.

Update 21/09/07: here is the announcement from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirming Heatherwick's victory:




Heatherwick Studio, leading a team that includes designer Casson Mann, structural engineer Adams Kara Taylor and technology engineer Atelier Ten has won the competition to design the UK pavilion for Shanghai Expo in 2010.

A jury chaired by Digby, Lord Jones of Birmingham, Trade and Investment Minister, and featuring leading figures from the British design and architectural community selected the design from a strong field of six short-listed designs.

Lord Jones said:

“It was a very tight contest. Each team made an extraordinary effort and gave highly professional and inventive presentations. But in the end the jury felt that Heatherwick’s team and concept would make something really special for the UK at Expo.”

“We were really energised by the uniqueness of the concept and the way it integrated technology with a sensory experience for visitors. It will be a spectacular pavilion that responds to what visitors say and feel and at the same time showcase the very best of brand Britain.”

The winning concept – a Pavilion of Ideas – creates a single, stunning enclosure clad in a mass of spines that hovers without apparent visible support above a public square. Each spine is tipped with a tiny coloured light source which can be programmed with a variety of images, colours and messages. The spines move freely in the breeze to create a living patterned façade. Its inner and outer surfaces can integrate presentations within the pavilion with ever changing messages and images on the outside. Using interactive technology, visitors will be invited to add ideas that can be used in real time to change the presentations.

Notes for Editors:

The Jury for the competition met on 19th September to receive separate presentations from the six teams. Chaired by Lord Jones, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, the other members were CABE Chair John Sorrell; architects Nicholas Grimshaw and David Adjaye; Shanghai Consul General Carma Elliot; and Head of Major Projects Group at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Stephen Whittle. The jury was advised by Malcolm Reading, the competition organiser.

The five other teams - architects Avery Associates; Draw Architects; John McAslan and Partners; Marks Barfield and Zaha Hadid Architects, provided dramatic and strong competition.

The winning concept will be presented formally to the Expo Bureau in Shanghai later this year, with the pavilion completed by May 2010.

For further information contact Malcolm Reading Associates (0207 637 2502), FCO Press Office (0207 008 3100) or UKTI Press Office (0207 215 8274)