American studio claims it designed London 2012's Olympic cauldron

Thomas Heatherwick won worldwide acclaim when it was unveiled last year

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The Independent Culture

An American design studio has claimed it came up with the idea for the Olympic cauldron made of metal petals and stems long before it became a centrepiece of the London Olympics.

The design, in which the petals were lifted up from the ground to merge together, by Thomas Heatherwick won worldwide acclaim when it was unveiled last year.

But New York studio Atopia now claims, according to The Guardian, it presented an almost identical design to the organisers of the London Olympics in 2007. They also claim to have had the idea of petals for each nation being carried by children into the stadium

Jane Harrison, a director, told the paper: “It looked identical to something we had proposed to the London Olympic committee back in 2007, after which we hadn't heard anything.”

Atopia saw the design when the Olympics opened last summer but said they were bound by confidentiality rules on companies using the London Olympics to promote themselves. The confidentiality rules were lifted in January.

Heatherwick’s studio said when told of the similarity between the designs: “This has come completely out of the blue. We have never seen this project before, nor were we made aware of it by Locog. The creative ideas for the cauldron were very much born from a conversation between Danny Boyle and Thomas Heatherwick.”