This "Seed Cathedral" seems to be garnering rave reviews from both the US and China. With Chinese netizens exclaiming "I must go see it!" and "Beautiful!" BLDGBLOG saying, "it is one of the coolest architectural constructions I’ve seen in a long time," and the NYT calling the building "extraordinary and unconventional."
However, I noticed that not all characterizations are really positive – with it being compared to a pin cushion, a hedgehog, a dandelion, etc. Also, I noticed that comments from this article from the Daily Mail seems to show a different sentiment from Britons.
Some of the best rated comments:
Be interesting to see how it will be kept clean!
– Paul, East Yorkshire
What exactly does this say about Britain and its People? Apart from the fact that we are mugs who can be conned into paying so much for something like this piece of worthless tat, that is!
– Nonsuch, Anytown , England, 22/2/2010 15:39
Yet another waste of taxpayers money. I hope all the people supporting this venture won’t start moaning when their taxes rise even higher to pay for it.
– Cynical, Bridgwater England, 22/2/2010 14:37
1) in six months time or less it will be absolutely filthy 2) I wouldn’t want to be any where near it after a year or two… those rods will go brittle and start breaking off… 3) haven’t they learned from his last disaster?
– Paul Cooke, Gloucester England, 22/2/2010 13:13
WHY???????????????????????? We IMPORT just about everything from China as we sold off most of our industry to please misguided Labour dogma about a global economy! How many old or sick people would that have helped!
– PALLADIN, Scotland, 22/2/2010 18:07
Remind me never to go skydiving near that.
– Andy, London, 21/2/2010 13:44
All those pointy bits could hurt someone. Quick, call ‘elf and safety!!!
– DD, Devon, UK, 21/2/2010 13:46
For anyone that questions how we spend our money in general, I would beg you to check out this information visual from David McCandless.
The architect, Thomas Heatherwick, says on the Shanghai Expo website, "There is nothing in the world with more potential than a seed." And when asked what else is there to see in the "cathedral" besides seeds, Heatherwick says "Is 60,000 seeds not enough?" Here is an interview from CCTV with Heatherwick, the introduction is in Chinese, but you can see Heatherwick himself talking about his philosophy behind the "Seed Cathedral":
Personally, I think the Seed Cathedral is all symbolism and not quite enough practicality. I do hope more architecture in the future is postmodern and metaphorical like this, but that this style can be achieved with more eco-friendly and efficient methods. The way the Shanghai Expo is being presented right now seems like the epitome of luxury, extravagance, and waste that the world could probably do without in a time of economic recession. Is there a way that we can proudly display our world’s heritages and cultures without spending so much money? Can these artistic fixtures be created so that they have a long-term use after this temporal international runway show?
A good example might be the Arcosanti project in the Arizona desert, its goal being to "demonstrating ways to improve urban conditions and lessen our destructive impact on the earth."
More photos (from The Big Picture)
From the Guardian: