Shanghai Surprise

One of Esquire’s favourite designers, Thomas Heatherwick, is the brains behind the British Pavilion at Shanghai Expo next year. The theme is ‘Better City Better Life’ and it’s a collaboration with the green-fingered, floppy-hatted folks at Kew Gardens.

The amazing six-storey building is formed from 60,000 transparent rods which will quiver in the breeze and draw on the daylight outside (assuming the thick pall of exhaust that routinely hangs over the city hasn’t blacked it all out) to illuminate the structure inside. 

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Inside, it will house the largest collection of wild plant seeds in the world - tens of thousands of the little fellas which organisers (who’ve possibly never seen Spinal Tap) are calling  “A Seed Cathedral”.

Heatherwick comments: “Rather than a straightforward advert for the UK I wanted to give people a more profound understanding of the richness of British contemporary culture.”

Esquire sincerely hopes that by the end of the expo the whole thing doesn’t resemble a giant Day Of The Triffids scenario, with giant turnips chasing and gobbling up unsuspecting Chinese officials. . .

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