Sep 9th. 2013

Vlad Tenu and Extracts London present the The Honey Club Hive

Hive_blog image

On the first of August we held our first ever public event in the Filling Station Kings Cross. I had never seen the space so busy. Perhaps it was the sun or the bespoke honey cocktails and food supplied by Shrimpy’s – but more likely it was the thoughtful, sculptural hive designed with acclaimed architect Vlad Tenu and Extracts London that we presented to the wider Kings Cross community.

The Hive was designed to be a home for the bees, something that focused on their requirements and preferences rather than ours to harvest honey. We considered every details from the materials to the shape and even how the entrances worked to perfectly welcome the bees. The prototype hive was beautifully suspended in the centre of the Filling Station for everyone to get up close and inspect its intricate details.

The design and build was no mean feat – it took many hours of painstaking riveting from Extracts helped by several Global Generators to construct the giant three diminutional jigsaw. Each piece was numbered and coded and had a very specific location which was calculated buy Vlad Tenu.

Vlad is an architect famed for his understanding of how the shapes and structures created by animals and insects in nature can influence the design of buildings and sculptures we live and work in.

The event was opened with a great talk by Juliette Somnolet from Extracts where she explained how this Hive took its form from the conversations they and Vlad had with professors of nature and beekeepers. Lots of research lead to the final sculpture “that expresses the direct conversation between the architect and the bees”.

Some of the learnings discovered were shared on information panels around the space:
– Small entrances, around 8mm wide, prevent foreign bees from flying directly into the hive making it easier for soldier bees to identify intruders.
– All hives produce condensation, which can be both a good and a bad thing. It is important to prevent condensation from dripping onto the honeycombs (to avoid mould) and to allow excess moisture to get out.

As the August sun set and the Filling Station filled up the public loosened up and started to engage with the Honey Club asking lots of questions, learning lots about the Hive and what the Honey club does. It was great to see the Global Generators there to take part and support the event as well as all of our members. The feedback has been great and we now look forward to making a public event a regular on our calendar.

Ben Gibbs, Designer, Wolff Olins