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.
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
Brian Fentzke – B.S. Arch 2014
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 http://hivecity.wordpress.com. Please visit site for more information.
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