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A new direction in Olympic cauldrons

08-06-2012 10:37 BJT Special Report:2012 London Olympic Games |

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The Olympic cauldron is a vital part of every Olympic opener - and things were especially exciting this year, with a cauldron unlike any other. Visitors can see a model version at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The unveiling is part of a solo exhibition by Thomas Heatherwick, the designer.

From the cauldron that houses the Olympic flame to the "new Routemasster" London bus, Thomas Heatherwick’s innovative designs are more visible than ever.

But his complex structure - made of 204 moving steel rods with copper petals - was not what organizers originally had in mind. Turns out Heatherwick has a strong will...

The Olympic cauldron is a vital part of every Olympic opener - and things were
especially exciting this year, with a cauldron unlike any other.(Photo: Getty Images)

Thomas Heatherwick, Olympic Cauldron Designer, said, "One main wise piece of advice from them (the organisers) was whatever we do we mustn’t have any moving parts. And so we ended up designing a cauldron with the most moving parts ever in the history of cauldrons."

Heatherwick says he sold his idea to ceremony director Danny Boyle over a cup of tea.

He said he didn’t want to impress audiences with a more standard - if big - cauldron. Hence the not-exactly-traditional design.

Thomas Heatherwick, Olympic Cauldron Designer, said, "It can’t be about being bigger and more enormous and higher, but if it’s something as an idea we all are interested in ideas and can appreciate that so I felt more than ever the importance of, I don’t want to sound like I’m showing off, but I felt like an importance to what we were doing that it really needed to be something that progressed cauldrons."

Thomas Heatherwick, Olympic Cauldron Designer(File phto)

Since its unveiling, the cauldron has been moved from its opening ceremony position in the center of the field to the southern end of the stadium... an echo of the 1948 London Games.

Now the smaller model will give visitors a closer look at the unique structure.

The show, called "Heatherwick Studio - Designing The Extraordinary", is the designer’s first major retrospective. It is open to the public through September 30th.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: CCTV.com

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