The British Pavilion at World Expo 2010 in Shanghai brought together UK creative talent and scientists and botanists from around the world. It was built using acrylic supplied by Donchamp based on MMA manufactured at Lucite International in China. The Seed Cathedral was designed by leading UK architect, Thomas Heatherwick, and was formed from over 60,000 transparent 7.5m long acrylic rods, which extend out from the structure and were able to move in the breeze. By day, each rod acted as a fibre optic filament, drawing on daylight to illuminate the interior. At night, light sources embedded in each rod allowed the whole structure to glow.
The Seed Cathedral was a unique representation of the UK’s pivotal role in global conservation, which is being led by the Kew Millennium Seed Bank partnership. By encasing tens of thousands of seeds into the transparent acrylic rods, visitors were able to view examples of seeds of plant species that contribute to national and global conservation programmes.