“Beehive” is the nickname given to the UK pavilion at Expo milan 2015, a nickname rather earned than falsely claimed by the design of Wolfgang Buttress, the Nottingham artist who collaborated with Stage One Construction firm to deliver the masterpiece representing the UK in the Expo.
The Pavilion consists of five main parts: the orchard; the meadow; the terrace; the architectural program; and the ‘hive’, which is the essence of the whole pavilion. The hive is a latticed metal structure built out of more than 40,000 components, resembling the architectural embodiment of the beehive. The project manager Mike Goodwin explains: “we had a prototype test unit, but it was small in scale.
You can see how the elements connect together, but that doesn’t actually equate to the installation process very easily. Now we’re on site, and we’ve got 40,000 component parts, we begin to appreciate the enormity of the task.”
Designed to emphasize the importance of nature as an ultimate source of inspiration for architects and artists alike, the hive is a mimicking organic structure of an actual beehive. It is provided with audio-visual devices embedded within the structure, converting it to a pulsing, buzzing and glowing structure in accordance to the desired effects, including signals from a real beehive transmitted to the structure.
The incredible geometry within is the well earned result of the collaboration between Wolfgang Buttress and One Construction. Several layers of complex shapes are thoroughly stacked on each other, and slowly leaning to form the plot of the hive. The work environment, time-frame, and the design itself have all formed incredibly complex factors complicating the situation for One Construction. But both their experience and their determination to deliver perfection have helped deliver such a masterpiece right on time for the opening.