heatherwick studio: 2012 london olympics cauldron
jul 28, 2012
heatherwick studio: 2012 london olympics cauldron



2012 london olympics cauldron designed by thomas heatherwick

lighting rehearsal – starting point from which the torch bearers ignite the cauldron
image: LOCOG / 
olympic opening ceremony tumblr

 

 

the highly anticipated 2012 olympics cauldron designed by thomas heatherwick
was finally revealed at yesterday’s opening ceremony.

 

the dandelion-like design, is composed from 204 petals (each representing a competing nation),
which are attached to levered stems that pump natural gas to each petal. the stems gently rise
from the ground upwards and converge to form ‘one great flame of unity’ – representative of the transitory togetherness
that is embodied in the olympic games.

 

 


the london 2012 olympic cauldron being lit
video via

 



2012 london olympics cauldron – lighting rehearsal – stems which pump natural gas to the petals rising upward
image: LOCOG /
olympic opening ceremony tumblr

 

 


2012 london olympics cauldron – lighting rehearsal – the flaming petals converge to form one united flame 
image: LOCOG /
olympic opening ceremony tumblr

 

 


2012 london olympics cauldron – by thomas heatherwick
image: LOCOG /
olympic opening ceremony tumblr

 

 

‘the petals are copper and the entire structure is about 8.5 metres tall, the rods which make up
the stem of the cauldron are made of stainless steel with a heat and acid treatment that makes
it a colour called ‘bad black’, which is slightly blue. the cauldron weighs 16 tonnes,
far less than the one lit in beijing four years ago, which weighed 300 tonnes.’

daily mail

 

heatherwick’s cauldron will be moved within the stadium to where the opening ceremony bell
was, a reference to the position of the cauldron at the 1948 london games. at the end of the games,
each team will take their petal home and the london 2012 cauldron will cease to exist.

 

 


2012 london olympics cauldron – each of the 204 copper petals represents one of the competing nations 
image: LOCOG /
olympic opening ceremony tumblr

 

 


2012 london olympics cauldron – each of the 204 copper petals are inscribed with the name of the country and ‘the XXX olympiad – london 2012”
image: LOCOG /
olympic opening ceremony tumblr

 

 


2012 london olympics cauldron – the mechanism which lifts the stems

image: LOCOG /  olympic opening ceremony tumblr

 

 

‘we were aware cauldrons had been getting bigger, higher, fatter as each olympics happened
and we felt we shouldn’t try to be even bigger than the last ones. this incredible event has 204 nations
coming together, so we had a child from each country bringing these copper polished objects in.
at the end of the games, this cauldron will dismantle itself and radiate back down to the ground
and each of those copper pieces take away by each nation and put in their national olympic cabinet.’

– thomas heatherwick

 

 


the ‘making of’ the olympic cauldron
video courtesy of telegraphTV

 

 


floor plan / level 0
image © heatherwick studio

 

 


elevation
image © heatherwick studio

 

 


thomas heatherwick
image © rosie hallam

 

 


olympic cauldrons of years past
top row: 1976 (montreal, canada); 2010 (vancouver, canada); 2004 (athens, greece)
bottom: 2002 (salt lake city, USA); 2000 (sydney, australia); 1992 (barcelona, spain)

 

 

thomas heatherwick: making‘ by thomas heatherwick is published by thames & hudson on 28 may 2012, £38.00 plc
‘heatherwick studio: designing the extraordinary’, sponsored by ernst & young, will be at the V&A from 31 may – 30 september 2012

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