invisible studio's beezantium is a new home for bees in somerset

invisible studio's beezantium is a new home for bees in somerset

a folly in the landscape

 

invisible studio describes its beezantium for the newt in somerset as a folly within the landscape. in the design of the little structure, the team draws on its long tradition of playful and whimsical pavilions, this one in particular housing an apiary and thus, a bee colony. the space is shaped by a number of design considerations informed by the service and exhibition of the hive.

 

the ‘beezantium’ apiary occupies a natural expanse along the water’s edge which had once a been a disused wasteland. built mainly of timber, the structure is defined by its simple geometry topped by a sloping, shingled roof. the little architectural object suggests a jewel nestled among its woodland surroundings. a huge picture window invites visitors to explore the interior, while also offering views across the lake and trees beyond.

invisible studio's beezantium is a new home for bees in somerset
image by piers taylor

 

 

an exhibit for bees

 

invisible studio clads its beezantium in oversized timber panels, distort the scale of the pavilion when viewed upon approach. the exterior walls are built of unseasoned oak, allowing the bees to enter the hive through natural holes or through a network of copper pipes built into the fabric of the structure.

 

upon entering the space, the conventional concept of the traditional folly is turned on its head. the interior is made of polished honey oak, a stark contrast with the rougher exterior, that provides a rich and warm atmosphere in which to enjoy the exhibit and the bees themselves. two oculi are set into a lofty ceiling, providing much-needed light and natural ventilation into the space below. apiaries are usually contained in a glass box in the middle of the room but by pushing it to the edges, it was possible to create an educational showcase in collaboration with kossmanndejong, an amsterdam-based design agency that focuses on exhibition and interior architecture.

invisible studio beezantium
image by jim stephenson | @clickclickjim

 

 

piers taylor, director of invisible studio comments:the beezantium has been designed to provide a sensory, otherworldly experience. it appears jewel like, quirky and playful – almost like a folly in landscape with a glowing copper roof, but instead of being only about pleasure, the beezantium is a purposeful building designed to house bees in observation hives in the external walls, that can be viewed in a range of habitats internally.

 

there is a huge extraordinary interactive and immersive exhibit that describes the world from the bees perspective, that is hung from the ceiling and contained within a honeycomb structure, enabling visitors to understand bees and their place in the world.’

invisible studio beezantium
image by jim stephenson invisible studio beezantium
image by jim stephenson invisible studio's beezantium is a new home for bees in somerset
image by jim stephenson

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image by jim stephenson

invisible studio's beezantium is a new home for bees in somerset
image by jim stephenson

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image by jim stephenson

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project info: beezantium

architecture: invisible studio

location: the newt in somerset, UK

lead architect: piers taylor

collaborator: kossmanndejong

photography: piers taylor, jim stephenson

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ARCHITECTURE IN THE UK (352)

BEESWAX ART AND DESIGN (14)

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