Have you ever thought about what our built environment may look like without the wobbles, weathering or wonder? 

Well, wonder no more: Heatherwick Studio has harnessed its CGI skills to use to visualise what notable historic landmarks might look like if such sites might have been subject to what it believes to be banal current architecture trends. The Heatherwick Studio’s ‘Humanise Campaign’ gives us pause to think, and to articulate why heritage matters to us as individuals, and as a reflection of our shared society values.

Whilst this is an extreme view of how our current architecture may (possibly/arguably) be driven by economics and ego it does give us pause to reflect on the contrast of flat planes of glass and concrete against those of patinated glass and weather-softened timber, stone or brick of our heritage properties. In my work at Heritage Revival the resilience of the cultural legacies of our buildings is highly valued, and inspiration is found in the potential to reveal past histories with care and sensitivity. It’s interesting to observe an unashamedly modern ‘model-creating’ studio step into the arena of heritage value – but as a society it is sometimes helpful to be provoked into a discussion by considering life through an extreme-version filter.