British pavilion for Shanghai’s World Expo heralded as ’an outstanding emblem for Britain’

Thomas Heatherwick’s British pavilion, built for the World Expo in Shanghai, has won the RIBA Lubetkin Prize.

The six-storey structure, known as the dandelion or the “Seed Cathedral” is pierced by 60,000 transparent acrylic rods that each contain a seed.

The UK Pavilion beat off competition from two other shortlisted buildings: Timberyard Social Housing in Dublin by O’Donnell and Tuomey and the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Centre in Alaska by David Chipperfield Architects.

RIBA president Ruth Reed called the winning structure “an outstanding emblem for Britain”.

The prize is named after world-renowned architect Berthold Lubetkin, designer of the Penguin Pool at London Zoo.

The winner was presented with a concrete plaque based on that design at a ceremony at RIBA’s London offices yesterday.