The journey along the walkways starts with a representation
of urban landscape demonstrating the British
tradition of incorporating green spaces and
water into its cities. Walkway 1 shows a
series of ‘green maps’ which
illustrate the green space in each of the
four cities - Belfast, Cardiff, London and
Edinburgh. The greenness of the cities is
demonstrated by the erasure of all the buildings
and streets leaving only the green spaces.
London in particular is 40% green parkland,
making it the greenest city of its size in
the world. Walkway 2 represents an 'Open
City', where you are met with luminous
fluctuations of light spilling onto the walkway.
The Seed Cathedral is an innovative structure formed from 60,000
slender transparent rods, which extend from
the structure and quiver in the breeze. During
the day, each of these 7.5 metre long rods
act like fibre optic filaments, drawing on
daylight to illuminate the interior, thereby
creating a contemplative awe-inspiring space.
At night, light sources embedded in each
rod cause the whole structure to glow.
Entry into the 20 metre high Seed Cathedral
introduces the visitor to the UK’s
leading role in conservation worldwide. The
internal curved wall of glass rods is a visual
representation of the Kew Millennium Seed
Bank and houses the largest collection of
wild plant seeds in the world. By encasing
tens of thousands of seeds into the ends
of the transparent rods, visitors can view
examples of plant species that contribute
to global conservation programmes.
The Living City on the final walkway comprises a ‘plant
river’ that spills out from an enormous
crack in the canopy, with plant life bursting
through, into the walkway. It is a showcase
for a rich variety of living plants and imaginary
future plants. Visitors are encouraged to
look closely to see which are real and which
The Open Landscape is intended to resemble the ‘paper’
that once wrapped the building and now lies
unfolded on the site. This landscape provides
an open space for public events as well as
allowing visitors to wander aimlessly, sit, relax and admire the amazing sculpture.