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Shanghai pavilion’s fate is a seedy affair

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At a recent talk held in aid of the Maggie’s Cancer Care centres, designer Thomas Heatherwick shed some light on what happened to his Lubetkin Prize-winning Seed Pavilion after the 2010 Shanghai Expo closed

Heatherwick said he’d had dreams that the pavilion would find a new home in London’s Kew Gardens.

But, despite protests, the £26 million pavilion was not rebuilt in the UK. Instead some 16,000 of the pavilion’s 60,000 seed spikes were auctioned off for charity while the Expo was still taking place.

They were snapped up in less than two minutes, resulting in many of them subsequently being reauctioned by successful bidders – one even sold for $20,000.

The unexpected value of the spikes led to a wall having to be constructed around the pavilion while it was dismantled, to prevent any mysteriously slipping away to new homes.

A similar fate, however, is unlikely to befall the UK’s 2015 Milan Expo pavilion. According to sources, the centrepiece showstopper – a massive hive made of a fine steel lattice, designed by BDP and artist Wolfgang Buttress – will be returning to these shores after the event closes in October 2015.

Rumours are it may even pop up temporarily at Glastonbury before finding a permanent home. 

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