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Heatherwick’s Shanghai pavilion wins 'best in show' Expo prize

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Thomas Heatherwick’s ‘seed cathedral’ has been named top pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo

The £26 million British pavilion was awarded the prize on the penultimate day of the Expo, beating more than a hundred other national and corporate temporary structures.

The dandelion-like building is constructed from over 60,000 transparent 7.5-metre long acrylic rods, each with a plant seed embedded within its tip.

A number of state leaders, including Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, visited the UK’s pavilion on the Expo’s final day.

Environment secretary Caroline Spelman was also in attendance. She described the design as ‘innovative,’ and ‘an outstanding success in many ways.’

London-based Heatherwick Studio had already received this year’s RIBA Lubetkin Prize for the structure.

The pavilion will now be dismantled with the acrylic rods being donated to schools, research institutions and auctioned for charities.

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