SG2 Design
IN NATUR COMPETITION. Madrid, Spain, 2017.
slide show gallery

slide show gallery

This project was done with Arch. Cinzia DiRenzo, as part of an international competition to design an interpretation centre within a natural environment of our choosing.

Bees are essential for our existence! They are fundamental for a large part of food supply as they are responsible for pollinating many plant species, which in turn create many of the foods we eat. Without their permanence our food supply would look very different, at least one-third of our staple diet would no longer be available. The recent steady decline in bee numbers, due to many factors such as the increased use of pesticides and rise in pollution levels is allarming and what drove us to promote their importance. Our proposal aims to create a learning enviroment for the general public through the creation of a 'bee park', to highlight the importance of bees for humanity and to motivate their conservation.

Manuka honey is considered to be one of the most prized and beneficial honey types, in particular for it's medicinal qualities. It is mainly produced from the nectar of the Manuka tree, created by the introduced European honey bee (Apis mellifera), which forages on the manuka or tea tree that grows primarily in New Zealand and southeast Australia. The specific location for our proposal is therefore within the Oceanic region.

The honeycomb, synonymous with bees and bee-keeping, becomes the driving element of our masterplan form. The 'bee park' incorporates an interactive museum, to "inform, entertain and motivate knowledge" of bees and their importance. A large beehive structure forms the basis of the musem, where visitors can go to experience bees at work producing honey. A circular perimeter corridor allows one to walk around and observe the honey collection area and sequential honey production within the attached laboratory.

For a complete sensational experience, visitors can also interact with bees on one of the many poli-trees located throughout the park. These large tree-like structures are derived from the flower of the manuka tree, to attract bees to pollinate the plants located within. These structures are accessed via lifts to viewing platforms above, which also act as large rainwater collection points for harvesting water used in the compound. Solar panels located on roofs and fencing around the site, generate power for the lifts and neighbouring buildings alike. Rammed-earth walls are the dominant material used for generating building forms, for both their aesthetic appeal and sustainable awareness.

©2014 Sebastiano Ghezzi

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