Designed by Timothy Hatton Architects in collaboration with Sir David Attenborough, The Shard's restaurant aqua shard presents a nine-metre cascading installation for it's annual festive decorations.
Entitled Human Nature and positioned in aqua shard's three-storey atrium with a backdrop of stunning views across the London skyline, the installation will comprise thousands of delicate woodland leaves, printed in 3D using recycled plastic. 90 special leaves will symbolise Sir David Attenborough’s 90th birthday this year. After Christmas the installation will be deconstructed into thousands of individual leaves, each becoming a beautiful keepsake to be sold in support of Fauna & Flora International, a wildlife conservation charity of which Attenborough has been a vice-president for 37 years and a member for almost six decades.
“As species and ecosystems are lost, so the rich tapestry of life unravels before our very eyes. Timothy Hatton’s installation at aqua shard captures wonderfully the fragility of nature, the beauty found in its diversity and the need to reflect upon the impacts of our own behaviour and of our ‘throwaway’ society – particularly at this time of year. We owe so much to nature.”
Timothy Hatton of Timothy Hatton Architects said, “Increasing human consumption of space and resources on Earth is arguably the most significant threat to the natural ecosystems on which, of course, mankind’s own survival depends. FFI operates at the very interface between man and nature, encouraging and enabling communities to sustainably manage their local environment which creates greater harmony between mankind and the environment – ‘human nature’ in action.”
“3D-printed from recycled materials such as refrigerator linings, our installation promotes the idea of re-using waste products to reduce consumption whilst simultaneously questioning our perception of the natural and the artificial. ‘Human Nature’ raises questions about the inter-connectivity of man and the natural world as well as the necessity of a symbiotic relationship between the two.”
“Over the course of his 60 years as a member of Fauna & Flora International, Sir David Attenborough has witnessed and helped to shape some truly remarkable conservation successes. We are touched that he has nominated our organisation as the beneficiary of this year’s installation, and we are grateful to aqua shard and Timothy Hatton Architects for their generosity in supporting our vital work.”
Aqua shard has developed a special dessert and cocktail, to be sold throughout November and December, with 50% of the proceeds going to Fauna & Flora International. Created by executive chef Dale Osborne, a dessert of apple compote, chocolate twigs and soil, almond crumble and honey ice cream takes inspiration from the fruit and nut forests of Central Asia – one of the ecosystems the charity protects. Reminiscent of a festive mulled wine, an exclusive cocktail by Luca Missaglia will blend white wine, pine, apple, bergamot with herbs and spices to make a liqueur then mixed with rum, all topped off with a pine cone and berries. Additionally, an optional £1 added to every bill throughout November, December and January will be donated directly to Fauna & Flora International.
This is the first time aqua shard has enlisted an architect to create its Christmas centrepiece. Previous collaborations have been with fashion designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Matthew Williamson.
“We are thrilled to be working with Timothy Hatton Architects to mark Sir David Attenborough’s 90th birthday year. It’s lovely for us to break with tradition and go in a different direction for Christmas this year. At this time of year we like to give our support to a charity and we hope we can highlight the extensive work that Fauna & Flora International do while raising money for them.”
Human Nature opens to the public on 17th November - it will be the first time that a 3D-printed structure of this intricacy, scale and material has ever been successfully constructed.
To find out more about the project, visit the Human Nature website.
For more information about visiting aqua shard or to book a table at the restaurant, please click here.