For a writer to run out of words is a sheer embarrassment, but the gorgeous design of the glasshouse has left me completely speechless. There is so much going in my mind, yet so less to express. All I can say is, if you haven’t seen the unfurling of the Heatherwick Studio designed Kinetic glasshouse already, I bet it is the most beautiful thing you will see on internet today.
Designed by Heatherwick Studio in collaboration with the National Trust, this 50ft x 50ft decagonal glasshouse is based at the Woolbeding Gardens in West Sussex. Like aforementioned, it unfurls like a flower in few minutes reminding me of the paper flowers, I used to make in school during my scrap book sessions. Moving aside my childhood days and focusing on the beautiful structure, the glasshouse is a work of art merged with geometric brilliance. Spread over 141-square-meter, the design burst forth and blooms into an impressive display that is very pleasing for the eyes.
The unfolding structure acts as a focal point for the Silk Route Garden, a new outdoor space in the National Trust’s Woolbeding Gardens that dates back to 18th century. The structure also highlights the importance of the ancient Silk Route and their influence on English gardens today. The glasshouse draws inspiration from the spirit of Victorian ornamental terrariums and deploys cutting-edge engineering to provide a functional protective structure, mentions Heatherwick Studio.
Taking design into highlight now, the glasshouse features ten steel sepals with glass and aluminum façade. The sepals not only support the angled glass planes, but also add to the beauty of the structure. All these elements create a crown-shaped space hosting subtropical plants inside, thus functioning as a greenhouse too.
Inside the glasshouse, you will also find a rare Aralia Vietnamensis, a species of tree native to South China and North Vietnam, and other subtropical species and shrubs. Heatherwick Studio also states, there is a winding path with more than 300 species of plants around the Heatherwick glasshouse that were found in the 12 distinct regions of the Silk Road. The glass structure can be opened for plants and shrubs to receive sunlight and ventilation. Furthermore, it can be closed during colder weather to protect plants from frost.
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Heatherwick Studio has gained a reputation for designing bridges that roll, desks that expand, building facades that glide, and chairs that rotate like spinning tops, but this unfolding glasshouse is their best shot ever.