The UK Pavilion. Photo by Iwan Baan.
The UK Pavilion. Photo by Iwan Baan.

Thomas Heatherwick has designed everything from the cauldron for the 2012 Olympic Games in London to that city’s newly refashioned double-decker buses. His Seed Cathedral for the UK Pavilion of the 2010 Shanghai Expo resembled a giant fur ball, and each of its 60,000 acrylic optic rods contained a seed that London’s Kew Gardens intends to preserve as a way to help protect biodiversity. Heatherwick, 45, who first made a name for himself with a pedestrian bridge that rolls up into a ball to let boats pass, will next unveil Garden Bridge, a verdant structure over the Thames that just received planning approval. He has also proposed a similar idea to replace crumbling piers along Manhattan’s Hudson River. (Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller have offered to pay for most of the New York project’s $130 million cost.) Heatherwick’s dizzying array of work is on view at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles through May 24, giving Tinseltown a glimpse of real-life special effects.