Arup Associates has won the ‘Beyond the Hive’ competition to design a hotel for insects. The competition was sponsored by British Land and the City of London to celebrate 2010 as the ‘International Year of Biodiversity’. Selected from five shortlisted hotels, built and placed in parks around London, the jury included Paul Finch (Chairman of CABE and Editorial Director, Architectural Review and Architects’ Journal); Sarah Henshall (BugLife The Invertebrate Conservation Trust); Adrian Penfold (Head of Planning and Environment, British Land); Peter Wynne Rees (the City Planning Officer); and architect Graham Stirk, (Rogers Stirk Harbour+ Partners).
The façade of the hotel consists of a series of compartments based on a Voronoi pattern – the rib structure of a dragonfly’s wing, generating a series of voids. The compartments provide the supporting armature and an ordering structure for a variety of recycled waste materials and deadfall that are loosely inserted into the voids. The sides of the hotel are accessible for butterflies and moths and the top is suitable for absorbing rain water through planting.