The Hive to celebrate the life of bees at new Kew Gardens home

by Kim Megson | 29 Jan 2016

The Hive – Wolfgang Buttress’ award-winning multi-sensory pavilion – is to be given a new home within London’s Kew Gardens.

The structure was the centrepiece of the UK’s entry at the six-month long 2015 Milan Expo, where it attracted more than 3.3m visitors and was awarded the BIE Gold Award for Architecture and Landscape.

It will be displayed at Kew – a UNESCO World Heritage Site containing 132 hectares of landscaped gardens – from June 2016.

The 17m (55.7ft) high, 40 tonne aluminium structure was inspired by British scientific research into the health of bees and their role in pollinating crops essential to human survival.

Visitors are taken on an experiential journey through the life of a bee colony, from an outside orchard and wildflower meadow into the hive itself, while orchestral buzzes and pulses fill the air.

More than 1,000 LED lights are illuminated within The Hive, changing in sound and light intensity to relay information triggered by vibration sensors in a real beehive.

The pavilion was created in collaboration with architects BDP, engineers Simmonds Studio and constructors Stage One, who built the structure from 115,000 individual components.

“We are truly delighted to announce The Hive’s move to Kew, both for its magnificent aesthetic appeal and for the resonance it has with our work – I can think of no better home for this remarkable marriage of architecture and science,” said Richard Deverell, director of the scientific organisation Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

“The Hive creates a powerful, immersive space for us to explore the urgent issues we face in relation to pollinators, their intimate relationships with plants and their vital role in helping us feed a rapidly growing population. To be able to bring those stories alive here at Kew – a centre of scientific knowledge and expertise and one of the planet’s most biodiverse city landscapes – is a true honour.”

Kew scientists will use The Hive as a platform to share their research into the life of bees and how they can be protected.

"It is fantastic that more of the UK public will have the opportunity to experience The Hive for themselves in the perfect setting at Kew,” said Lord Maude, the UK’s minister of state for trade and investment.

“The Milan Expo focused on sustainable ways of feeding a growing global population whilst protecting our environment. I cannot think of a better home for it now that the Expo is over.”

The Hive  Kew Gardens  bees  architecture  design  Wolfgang Buttress  Milan  Royal Botanic Gardens 
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FEATURE: Milan Expo 2015 – Milan Expo 2015

The Hive – Wolfgang Buttress’ award-winning multi-sensory pavilion – is to be given a new home within London’s Kew Gardens. The structure was the centrepiece of the UK’s entry at the six-month long 2015 Milan Expo, where it attracted more than 3.3m visitors and was awarded the BIE Gold Award for Architecture and Landscape. It will be displayed at Kew – a UNESCO World Heritage Site containing 132 hectares of
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The Hive won the BIE Gold Award for Architecture and Landscape at the 2015 Milan Expo 
/ Wolfgang Buttress
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