The Hive creates a buzz at Kew

Nick Myall
Friday 17 Jun 2016

Having been a major success at Milan Expo the Hive and is now moving on to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in the UK

The multi-award-winning Hive is being brought to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in the UK by Stage One. Originally conceived as the UK Pavilion at the 2015 World Expo in Milan, this complex structure was designed by artist Wolfgang Buttress and highlights the important role bees play as pollinators in feeding the planet.

The design of the Hive means that it is readily demountable allowing it to have a life beyond the Milan Expo. The structure was carefully dismantled after the Expo closed, before being shipped back to the UK and re-installed in the beautiful new setting at Kew. All 169,300 individual components that comprise the 32 layers of the Hive were manufactured in Stage One’s workshops in Yorkshire over an intense five month production period. Manufactured in specific batches, each item was etched with its own reference number relating to its specific position within the complex warren of hexagonal cells that form the Hive. This aided the efficiency of the original installation as well as future re-installations.

Stage One Sales & Marketing Director Tim Leigh commented: “This project played perfectly to our strengths. It combined our engineering and construction capabilities with our experience of creating large-scale and unique creative installations. We undertook both the original build in Milan and the re-installation at Kew confident we had everything in place to work efficiently on site despite ambitious schedules.’’

Inspired by scientific research into the health of bees, the 17 metre high Hive provides an immersive, multi-sensory experience where orchestral sounds and over a thousand LED lights respond directly to activity within a real beehive. The glass floor allows visitors to view the structure from within, providing a unique perspective from which to experience the swarm simulation provided by the combination of software and LEDs that were developed in our workshops.

The Hive has won twenty awards, including the coveted Bureau of International Expositions gold medal for Best Architecture and Landscape Design at the Milan Expo.

Nick Myall

News Editor

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