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Happy Monday inside the Seed Cathedral

April 12, 2010

For the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China, which opens on May 1, 2010, the UK gives the Seed Cathedral.
A few blogs have said the designers had as their intent the “worship” of seeds, and the name certainly suggests that, which seems to me over the top and creepy. Language on the official pavilion page sounds more expo-like: “Your journey into the Seed Cathedral introduces you to the opportunity for change, growth and ideas embodied in seeds. Inside the Seed Cathedral is a unique visual representation of the UK’s leading role in conservation worldwide”

But why “Cathedral”? Valuing conservation supremely doesn’t make it a supreme being.

The experience of being inside sounds sublime. See a great series of photos and renderings at the Inhabitat blog.
More from the official site:
“Developed by one of the UK’s leading creative talents, Thomas Heatherwick, the centrepiece of the UK pavilion is a six storey high object formed from some 60,000 slender transparent rods, which extend from the structure and quiver in the breeze. During the day, each of the 7.5m long rods act like fibre-optic filaments, drawing on daylight to illuminate the interior, thereby creating a contemplative awe-inspiring space. At night, light sources at the interior end of each rod allow the whole structure to glow. The pavilion sits on a landscape looking like paper that once wrapped the building and that now lies unfolded on the site.

Your journey into the Seed Cathedral introduces you to the opportunity for change, growth and ideas embodied in seeds. Inside the Seed Cathedral is a unique visual representation of the UK’s leading role in conservation worldwide – Kew Millennium Seed Bank partnership – the largest collection of wild plant seeds in the world. By encasing tens of thousands of seeds into the ends of the transparent rods, you will be able to view examples of seeds of plant species that contribute to national and global conservation programmes. There is enormous potential for innovation and discovery held in the rich biodiversity of seeds: from new medicines and materials to construction techniques, communication systems and sustainable energy.”

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 12, 2010 8:13 pm

    This looks like such a cool place. Someone must have had excess imagination to pull this off.

    • April 14, 2010 3:56 pm

      No kidding. Conjuring a building that undulates in the breeze is genius enough, and then there’s all the rest of it!

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