Another TED Talk which I watched was by Thomas Heatherwick, about some of the projects which his studio had worked on. Being one of my biggest design inspirations, I was drawn immediately to his video. I was not disappointed.
The screenshots below are from the video above and feature three of what I feel are the most inspirational projects which bee relevance to my own project.
Above is the Seed Cathedral, Britain's entry to Shaghai World Expo. It is a very unique building consisting of, what are essentially, thousands of tiny windows. These act almost like fibre optics. However what is truly amazing about these glass rods is that the all contains samples of seeds. Each piece of glass frames a different species of seed, as inspired by a project that the studio learnt of in which seeds were being collected for protection. I find this very relevant to the ecologist client. These glass rods actually shimmer by moving in the wind, and they are lit too so that at night the whole structure glows.
This above screenshot shows a beautiful piece of architectural design which is completely different to the conventional idea of what a tower should be. The towers are designed exactly the same as one another and are simply cut at different heights to provide differentiation, making the whole project much cheaper. The idea behind the project is that by having a small base for each tower, the ground is left more space for nature, allowing the development to potentially house a forest within it's grounds. By growing the towers out as they go up, there is also more room to fit in the more desirable and more expensive penthouse apartments - good news for the developers. This is an inspiring and modern design, but it is the way in which the nature gets brought in which I feel is most relevant though.
One of my favourite Heatherwick Studios projects is this design for a biomass power station. It is a brilliantly simple and straightforward design, and yet despite it making so much sense, it has never been done before. The studio researched the makings of biomass power stations and realised that there was a lot of inefficiencies, mainly the way that the units were separated out. The studio brought all of the units together and created this for more natural design which can be used and explored by the public by using the exterior as a park and the some of the top floors as information and event centres to bring a relationship between the power station and the people who live around it. A lot of the design is underground and uses the earth for sound and thermal insulation, improving efficiency. I find this a brilliant and imaginative reinvention of a conventionally unexciting set of structures.