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Scale Model, Hairy Building (unbuilt)

This is a Scale model. It was designed by Heatherwick Studio and Thomas Heatherwick and made for (as the client) Notting Hill Improvements Group. It is dated 1999. Its medium is acrylic, mdf, paper, led lights.

When asked to put a sculpture next to an ugly building, how do you respond?

A local group requested a sculpture for a building but the studio decided to transform the soulless building instead. By embedding six thousand optical hairs in the building’s façade, they gave it a highly textured surface. At night, tiny light sources in tips of the hairs would illuminate. A reference for this project was Play-Doh’s barbershop toy, which features a plastic man who grows hair by extruding colored putty from holes in his head as a handle is wound. While this project wasn’t built, the studio created other textured buildings including Belsay Sitooterie and the U.K.

It is credited Courtesy of Heatherwick Studio.

  • UK Pavilion
  • acrylic rods, seeds, plywood, aluminum, rubber, fiber optics, artificial turf.
  • Courtesy of Heatherwick Studio.
  • HSP.39

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 33 × 47 × 14.6 cm (13 in. × 18 1/2 in. × 5 3/4 in.)

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Provocations: The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio.

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Scale Model, Hairy Building (unbuilt) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=25 September 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>