By Jessica Stewart on November 25, 2022
It’s like being in a giant terrarium.
Mixing function and form, Heatherwick Studio has created a stunning kinetic structure at the UK’s Woolbeding Gardens. Nestled in a historic Sussex estate, Glasshouse is a glass and aluminum structure that unfurls into a crown. This beautiful marriage of art, architecture, and engineering was inspired by Victorian terrariums and is a focal point of the estate’s homage to the Silk Road.
The innovative structure uses a hydraulic mechanism that allows it to open in just four minutes. When closed on cold days, Glasshouse provides shelter for a selection of subtropical plants. And on warm days, when its petals are open, it allows the plants to get ventilation and exposure to the sun.
“This is a place and a project that literally unfolds,” shares architect Thomas Heatherwick. “You step through this bewitchingly beautiful garden and discover an object that starts like a jewel and ends like a crown, as the Glasshouse slowly unfurls.”
“I think it also speaks of our need to keep creating amazing pasts. Weaving contemporary inventions into the fabric of historic settings and having the confidence to let each one speak to the other.” […]