Designer Thomas Heatherwick’s Architectural Work On Display

British designer Thomas Heatherwick founded his design firm, Heatherwick Studios, 20 years ago. He quickly rose to fame for his innovative design concepts and his unique creative eye. With an ability to combine engineering solutions with new technology for designs that are visually pleasing, Heatherwick has been called the “Leonardo da Vinci of our time.” Not only has his architectural design style caught the eye of critics, but his personal style has him ranked on this year’s British GQ best-dressed list.

East Beach Café, Littlehampton, UK 2005–2007, Heatherwick Studio, Photo: Andy Stagg
East Beach Café, Littlehampton, UK 2005–2007, Heatherwick Studio, Photo: Andy Stagg.

Heatherwick’s team consists of 160 architects and designers, and their work can be found across the globe. Close to home, in London, Heatherwick has re-designed the double-decker busses, the Olympic cauldron for the 2012 Olympic Games and the famous Rolling Bridge. The Rolling Bridge garnered great critical acclaim for Heatherwick, as it solved the age-old issue of drawbridges: when they’re raised, all the fussy cables become visible. His bridge is sectioned off into smaller portions, and instead of rising vertically, it curls into itself in a worm-like formation.

Heatherwick Studio, Rolling Bridge, London 2002–2004, Photo: Steve Speller
Rolling Bridge, London 2002–2004, Heatherwick Studio, Photo: Steve Speller.

For a limited time, a selection of Heatherwick’s design prototypes, models and photographic footage will be on display in an exhibition at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles titled Provocations: The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio. Viewers will get to see the creative process of the Heatherwick Studio’s designers, and explore a selection of their large-scale projects around the world.

The exhibition is sponsored by Burberry, a luxury fashion house that has credited Heatherwick’s brilliant architecture as a source of inspiration for the brand’s designs.

“We are so proud to be celebrating this exhibition that showcases some of the Heatherwick Studio’s incredible work,” said Christopher Bailey, Burberry’s chief designer. “British design and architecture constantly inspire all of us here at Burberry so it is a real privilege to be able to support Thomas and his team in this exciting city.”

View some of the Heatherwick Studio’s other projects from around the world in the gallery below, but make sure you visit the exhibition before May 24 to see the compelling show in person.