UK pavilion, The Hive, Grown in Britain and Northern Ireland, Milan Expo, green design, sustainable design, eco-design, food security, biodiversity, Feeding the Planet Energy for Life, Italy, bees, colony collapse disorder, bee hive, Milan Expo 2015

“The stand-out UK Pavilion is inspired by the crucial role played by pollination in providing the food that we eat,” according to the organizers. “It offers visitors a unique experiential journey taken from the perspective of the honeybee and forms the platform for a programme of UK business, science and cultural events, linked to the leading role the UK plays in overcoming global challenges.”

Related: Stunning Chinese pavilion for Milan Expo 2015 resembles billowing wheat fields

UK pavilion, The Hive, Grown in Britain and Northern Ireland, Milan Expo, green design, sustainable design, eco-design, food security, biodiversity, Feeding the Planet Energy for Life, Italy, bees, colony collapse disorder, bee hive, Milan Expo 2015

The pavilion follows a typical honeybee’s daily exploits through orchards, meadows and other landscapes. Their focused meandering to collect pollen and nectar to feed the colony and produce honey. This gentle experience culminates in a 14-meter cubed sculptural element that uses light and sound to mimic the busy interior of a real hive packed with hundreds of busy bees.

UK pavilion, The Hive, Grown in Britain and Northern Ireland, Milan Expo, green design, sustainable design, eco-design, food security, biodiversity, Feeding the Planet Energy for Life, Italy, bees, colony collapse disorder, bee hive, Milan Expo 2015

Comprised of 169,300 individual aluminum components and assembled in 32 dizzying horizontal zig-zagging layers, the sculpture captures the essence of a swarming hive. But the heart of the visitor experience lies in the nucleus of this hive lit up with pulsating LED lights attuned to a real bee’s hive located nearly 1,000 miles away in Nottingham. This allows the visitor to identify with these hard-working pollinators and frankly, it’s hard to not be emotional about the numerous ways in which our lifestyle has been detrimental to their survival.

Can’t get to Milan? Don’t worrry, we’ve got you covered. Inhabitat will be visiting a host of pavilions over the next week or so in order to give our readers an insider glimpse of the first world expo’s in history to seriously address crucial environmental issues.

+ Wolfgang Buttress

+ Inhabitat Coverage of Milan Expo 2015

Images via Mike Chino for Inhabitat