56-Foot-Tall Aluminum Honeycomb Structure Responds to the Buzzing of Bees Within London’s Kew Gardens
Forty-four tons of aluminum was just transported and installed at London’s Kew Gardens, a beehive-inspired structure produced by the artist Wolfgang Buttress in partnership with designer and engineer Tristan Simmonds. “The Hive” was originally built as a centerpiece for the UK Pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015 where it won the gold award for architecture and landscape. The installation both aesthetically and symbolically represents its namesake, aiming to demonstrate to visitors the importance of protecting the honeybee.
Standing nearly 56-feet-tall the work is located just beyond the gardens’ wildflower meadow, drawing visitors into the structure in the same way worker bees might return back to the hive after a long day of pollinating. In addition to being composed of thousands of pieces of metal, “The Hive” is dotted with hundreds of LED lights that coordinate with a soundtrack of buzzing from within the hive. These elements illuminate and hum in response to real bees housed at Kew, giving visitors a peek into the minute-by-minute energy and mood levels of the gardens’ bees.
Berlin-based photographer Dacian Groza was one of the photographers documenting the installation, and took many of the photographs seen here. Educated as an architect, he has a unique eye for the buildings and installations he documents, bringing special attention to timing and composition. You can see more of his architectural images on his website and Instagram.
“The Hive” reopens at the Kew Gardens on June 18, 2016 and will be open to the public through November 2017.