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Hotel for bugs, London, United Kingdom 
Monday 07 Jun 2010
 
Hotel for bugs 
 
Fisher Tomlin 
 
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Editorial

Arup, Brookfield Europe among shortlist for luxe critter hotel 

Here’s the buzz – five firms have flown to the top of the short list for an architectural competition to design a five-star hotel for insects.

Arup Associates and the group behind the Pinnacle are among the teams that have made the cut for the Beyond the Hive competition, run by British Land and the City of London Corporation. The contest is seeking proposals for an ecologically sustainable and creative insect habitat.

The five short listed projects will now be built and offers the public a change to vote for a favourite between June 19 and 28 in London.

The hotels were designed to attract a range of insects, such as bees, beetles, butterflies, lacewings, ladybirds and spiders, and will be built at Bunhill Fields, West Smithfield, Postman’s Park, St Dunstan’s in the East and Cleary Garden, all in London.

The short listed projects are: the Inset Hotel by Arup Associates; Brookfield Bug Buddies by Brookfield Europe and the Pinnacle team; Bumblebee City Nesters by Fisher Tomlin; Inn Vertebrate by Metalanguage Design; and Beevarian Anstel and Gretel Chalet by German Women in Property.

Fisher Tomlin’s proposal for Bumblebee City Nesters drew inspiration from towers in London. For the hotel at West Smithfield, the team will create a series of five towers, ranging in height from 900 mm to 1, 200 mm, made entirely from recycled materials, including recycled timber, recycled broom poles, and garden and building waste.

For its entry, Brookfield Europe, pooled the resources of its consultant team for new Pinnacle tower development, to devise a design that called on the city of London itself and the juxtaposition between the ancient past and the modern age. The hotel in Postman’s Park uses pipe work of different widths and lengths sourced from the Pinnacle project. These are fixed together in a sweeping line, rising up from a recycled wood planter base. Reinforcement bars used to create the framework will both support the structure, and allow a plant climber, such as honeysuckle

Hilson Moran Partnership was employed to assess the design’s environmental impact, Arup Structures reviewed the structural design and DP9 advised on possible planning considerations. Brookfield Construction co-coordinated the team effort and will deliver the scheme.

For visiting Continental bugs, a traditional German chalet might be a popular destination The team German Women in Property came up with a scheme for Cleary Garden based typical Bavarian mountain chalet, the ‘Beevarian Antsel and Gretel Chalet’ and serves to commemorate their recent trip to London.

The design features reclaimed bricks to attract solitary bees, rotten logs for invertebrates, louvered boxes filled with bark for hibernating butterflies, a log drilled with holes for ladybirds and eaves filled with bamboo for lacewings. Set over three floors, all materials used to construct the hotel will be collected from within London.

Arup devised an insect hotel, to be built in St Dunstan’s in the East, where the façade consists of a series of compartments based on a Voronoi pattern found in the natural world, which generates a series of voids varying in size at a depth of 500m.

A variety of recycled waste materials and deadfall are loosely inserted into these voids, whilst the sides of the hotel are accessible for butterflies and moths, and the top is suitable for absorbing rain water through planting.

Metalanguage Design its insect hotel to reflect the diverse architecture of London. For A-list insects, this ‘Inn’ is a stylish multi-story habitat with different-sized cavities to accommodate a wide variety of invertebrates.

The main structure will be built off-site, where a team of crafts people and designers will be involved in the sourcing and storing of materials, and construction, whilst the final phase - the filling-in of the cavities and planting – will be undertaken when the structure is in place in Bunhill Fields.

The inn will be constructed from recycled and reclaimed wood, bricks and off-cuts found in surrounding areas. Cavities will be filled with soil and stones collected from the garden, whilst seeds for planting wildflowers will be donated by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

Two ‘golden beetle’ awards will be presented – one to the top vote-getter from the public and one to the judges’ favourite – during the upcoming London Festival of Architecture.

To vote after June 19, click here

Jennifer Potash
News Editor

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