Wolfgang Buttress’ beehive-inspired Expo pavilion relocates to Kew Gardens
Themed around the lifecycle of a bee, The Hive features an elaborate metal honeycomb with an illuminated dome at its centre.
Buttress‘ installation was first created in Milan for the World Expo last spring. After the event ended in October, the 40-tonne structure was packed up and transported back to the UK.
It reopens in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew on 18 June 2016 – marking the first time the UK has ever rebuilt an Expo pavilion.
“It’s fantastic to watch The Hive coming back to life at Kew,” said Buttress, who is based in Nottingham. “The gardens offer the perfect environment to host this multi-sensory experience that integrates art, science and landscape architecture.”
During the initial manufacture, Stage One etched each of the 169,300 pieces of aluminium and steel that make up the lattice with a reference number relating to its position. This made it possible to reassemble the structure at Kew.
The pavilion aims to help visitors understand the importance of protecting the honeybee – a species that has become increasingly threatened by changes to the UK countryside. Pathways guides visitors both under and into the metal hive, which integrates pulsating audio and visual effects relating to a real bee hive.
During the Expo, changes in sound and light intensity were triggered by a hive in Nottingham, but they are now linked to the bee colony inside a hive at Kew.
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