Snøhetta’s newest design for the city of Oslo isn’t an innovative new building- it's a fabulous new home for bees! The Vulkan Beehive project comprises a pair of soaring geometric hives that have taken residence atop the Mathallen Food Hall in Oslo’s city center. Inspired by the shape of a honeycomb itself, the urban hive brings fresh honey to the food hall below.
The gorgeous Vulkan Beehives were designed to reflect their use – multi-faceted cut honeycomb with a stretched texturized hexagon pattern on each of its surfaces. Clad in a warm honey color, the pair of beehives double as sculptures, adorning the food hall’s roof. Made entirely of wood, the hive structures also blend well with the timber flower beds adjacent to them on the roof garden.
The city looked to Snøhetta to create an enticing way to bring more bees to the area, while also inspiring design lovers to inquire about the sculptural pieces. Being visible from the street, the beehives encourage passersby to inquire about urban beekeeping, sustainability and environmentalism. Inside the two hives, 160,000 bees thrive, and an on-site urban beekeeper tends them daily.
The hives were named for the Vulkan Project, an initiative started in 2009 to revitalize the Grunerlokka section of Oslo. The former industrial area along the Akerselva River has been transformed into a green center.