University at Buffalo: School of Architecture and Planning

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    Elevator B: A "Buzz-Worthy" New Home for Some of Buffalo's Smallest Citizens

    Megan Basnak Aug 2 '12 0

    On Saturday June 23, 2012, Buffalo's SiloCity was the destination for lovers of architecture and bees alike. The official opening of “Elevator B” culminated months of planning, designing, and construction for a small group of Master of Architecture students from the University at Buffalo. The hard work of design team members Courtney Creenan, Kyle Mastalinski, Daniel Nead, Scott Selin, and Lisa Stern can clearly be seen in the details of the 22 foot tall honey-comb steel structure that now calls Buffalo’s SiloCity home.

    Designed in response to a design competition sponsored by Rick Smith and Rigidized Metals and curated by the University at Buffalo’s Department of Architecture’s Ecological Practices Research Group, Elevator B is an architectural response to a need to relocate a group of bees that were residing in a building in the SiloCity complex. The free-standing, 22 foot tall steel structure is constructed of standard steel angle and tube sections in a honeycomb design and sheathed in specially manufactured perforated stainless steel panels. The bees are able to move freely from within the structure through these perforations. A hexagonal cypress box is used to house the hive, allowing visitors to view the bees through a laminated glass bottom. The hive is monitored by beekeepers who are able to interact with the hive by raising and lowering the box in the steel structure.

    According to the design team, “Elevator B is an iconic gesture of the regeneration of Silo City, both naturally and economically.  The material properties of the tower represent the cluster of material manufactures now located around the site while housing the colony of bees. Visitors enter the tower from below and look up, similar to the way one experiences the silos and bins of the nearby Marine A elevator.” Clearly, Elevator B has proven to be more than just another habitat relocation project. Elevator B stands to represent how collaborative efforts between previously unacquainted groups can produce progressive results in a forward-thinking community.

    Project Facts:

    Project Sponsor:
    Rick Smith, Rigidized Metals
    University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning (B/a+p)

    Courtney Creenan – M.Arch + MUP 2012
    Kyle Mastalinski – M.Arch + MUP 2013
    Daniel Nead – M.Arch + MUP 2013
    Scott Selin – M.Arch 2012
    Lisa Stern – M.Arch 2012

    Fabrication Assistants:
    Brian Fentzke – B.S. Arch 2014

    Faculty Advisors:
    Martha Bohm - Assistant Professor
    Joyce Hwang - Assistant Professor
    Christopher Romano - Clinical Assistant Professor

    Philip Barr - Beekeeper
    Peter Grace - Structural engineer
    Mark Bajorek - Structural engineer
    Alex Poklinkowski – Beekeeper + B.S. Arch, 2014
    Yinan Zhang – Parametric Modeler + M.Arch 2012

    Photos and information courtesy of Please visit site for more information.


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