These are the first images of the newly-constructed UK Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo, designed with beehives in mind by Wolfgang Buttress. He and his team won the right to design the pavilion with their nature-inspired concept, which upon completion will have a elaborate light system that gets its cues from a hive of actual bees.
We reported on the design concept last year when the preview was unveiled, revealing plans for the structure to take its lighting cues from a hive of actual bees. Now that the structure has been built, we can see the idea has come to life, with the giant hive-inspired orb situated amid planters of greens and wildflowers. The intent is for the flowers to grow and bloom over the course of the Expo, lending to the “living art” aspect of Buttress’ design.
The Milan Expo is still nearly two weeks away, and UK Pavilion is one of the first structures to reach completion in preparation for the event. It includes an interactive display space, featuring bone-conducting headphones to convey the unique buzzing of virgin bees, among other bee sounds. The lattice-built structure spans 14 meters cubed (roughly 500 cubic feet) and invites visitors to enter the hive via stairs to the roof of the adjacent single-story building.
“This pavilion is about pollination and pollinators, but it’s also a story about the way we need to bring together disciplines, about the way that science and art and business and nature and technology all need to combine if we are to find solutions to the problems of the future,” said the UK commissioner general Hannah Corbett.
Images via Hufton and Crow