In an effort to preserve the ancient art of beekeeping and safely bring it to a new, urban audience, industrial designer Francesco Faccin has created the Honey Factory. The metal and wood parallelogram structure features a prominent chimney that forms a focal point for the piece of micro architecture, while protecting the bees from harm. A viewing window towards the base of the structure, meanwhile, provides a close-up view of the hives and beekeeping in action for budding apiarists of all ages.
Faccin, a designer based in Milan, collaborated with beekeeper and urban farmer Mauro Veca to ensure the needs of the bees were met in all aspects of the Honey Factory’s design. The house contains all the traditional hive equipment necessary for honey production, and is kept at a constant temperature with good ventilation and protection from bad weather.
The distinctive chimney that sits atop the house, 4.5 meters up, allows the bees to forage, launching from an otherwise conventional flight step; as a standard hive can cover a radius of three kilometers, the Honey Factory is almost ideal for European city parks. By giving the bees a high point to fly out from, curious children are kept safe from the bees, while the bees are kept safe from vandals and other sources of harm.
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On one side of the house, there is an entrance for beekeepers so the hive can be maintained and sustainable honey can be collected, while on the other side there is both a small viewing window and a larger door with a glass pane behind it to allow passersby to view the activities of the hive, “bee-dancing” and the work of the beekeeper.
The first prototype of the Honey Factory was realized by sustainable furniture makers Riva1920, and is currently on display at the Milan Expo 2015 in the garden of the Triennale di Milano.
+ Francesco Faccin
Images via Riva1920, Delfino Sisto Legnani