People care for the things they value

That is why your emotional response to objects and places is a crucial part of making them sustainable. As a studio, we want the things we create to last and be loved.

It horrifies us that vast amounts of energy are expended in designing and erecting new buildings only for them to be demolished at huge cost to the environment because they are not well designed. Every year in the USA, approximately 1 billion square feet of buildings are demolished and replaced. That’s like half of Washington DC being demolished every 12 months. While in the UK, the average life of a commercial building is just 40 years.

What we can do as makers and inventors is ensure that every project is designed from the outset to care for the planet and to be cherished by the people who use it.

Together with many others, Heatherwick Studio has made a commitment to Architects Declare and the Retro First campaign. We proactively respond to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and align our own design values closely to these powerful, collective global ambitions.

We are also proud to be collaborating with some amazing people at the forefront of their fields. We learn more every day about how to address the climate emergency and are embedding a sustainability framework with 10 key principles into every project.

All our experience suggests that creativity – not just science – is fundamental to tackling the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis.

Our particular focus in the studio is on social sustainability, integrating nature and provoking delight, alongside the core issues of materiality, carbon reduction and energy performance.

Since Heatherwick Studio was formed in 1994, we have worked across multiple scales, typologies and locations. We don’t cherry pick projects that already aim to be highly sustainable and often challenge our clients to go way beyond the usual boundaries and legal requirements, reaching for the greatest social impact and championing integrated strategies that will have a positive impact on people and the planet.

The projects below give you proof and examples of this work.

Maggie’s Centre, Leeds, UK

Integrating biophilia in a welcoming, healing environment with prefabricated timber, breathable healthy materials and energy-saving techniques, increasing biodiversity on this site by 436%.

Castellana 69, Madrid, Spain

Catering for a post-pandemic office environment, this building is designed to achieve a significant reduction in embodied carbon and consumption by using a mixed timber structure and a wide variety of passive strategies. It aims to produce more energy than it consumes.

Airo

An electric vehicle that uses advanced filtration to clean the air as it drives and provides a convertible interior offering alternative living space as well as a premium driving experience. 

Coal Drops Yard, London, UK

An award-winning design that adapted industrial buildings from the 1850s to create a new public space and retail destination within an existing listed structure.

Bombay Sapphire, Hampshire, UK

The first refurbishment project to be awarded an ‘Outstanding’ BREEAM rating, retrofitting derelict industrial buildings to create a distillery and visitor centre with a series of spaces which delight and inspire.

Learning Hub at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Awarded Green Mark Platinum status, the highest environmental rating in Singapore, for its naturally ventilated atrium and use of energy efficient Passive Displacement Ventilation in classrooms.

Little Island, New York City, USA

Providing a new public park and performance space in one of the densest cities in the world with some of the highest land values. It creates a new public space over the Hudson River with multiple arts and education programmes run for the local community and visitors.