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Brief Published: 31 Jul 2012

Olympic Cauldron by Thomas Heatherwick


London designer Thomas Heatherwick created the cauldron that is home to the Olympic flame throughout the London 2012 Games.

Heatherwick is currently the subject of a retrospective at London’s V&A Museum and is highly rated for his innovative use of engineering in architecture and design. For the cauldron, he aimed to design “not just a thing, but a moment”.

The 204 copper petals that adorn the cauldron, representing each of the competing countries, were carried into the stadium during the athletes’ procession by a child from each country at the Opening Ceremony last Friday (July 27). Once lit, the petals rose up to form one large flame – symbolic of the coming together of nations at the Olympics.

The cauldron, combining steel pipes and the copper petals, was made by Harrogate-based panel beaters. Each unique petal is inscribed with the name of the country and ‘XXX Olympiad London 2012’. When the Games end, the cauldron will be dismantled and the petals returned to each individual nation to travel home with the Olympic team.

A 1:10 scale model of the cauldron is currently on show at Heatherwick’s retrospective V & A Exhibition; Designing the Extraordinary

Thomas Heatherwick