This project won the 2013 Architizer A+ Jury Award in the Student Designed category. See the full list of winners here.
While New York City currently outlaws the rather harmless practice of beekeeping, urban beehives are abuzz in Buffalo, New York. Hoping to give a new home to a colony of bees living in an abandoned office building in the city, a group of students from the University of Buffalo developed the imaginative project Elevator B.
Providing a safe, suitable habitat for the colony was central to the tower's design, and as diligent students, the team planned ahead of time. According to team member Courtney Creenan, "We did a lot of research to study how bee colonies build their hives, what are their ideal living conditions, what are their natural predators and how they protect themselves."
The resulting design includes perforated stainless steel panels to protect the hive and its visitors from the wind, and allow for both solar gain and shading. A hexagonal cypress box houses the bees, and features a laminated glass bottom so that visitors can view the inner workings of the hive. This "beecab" not only separates visits from the colony, but also provides the bees with warmth and protection.
Since its completion in June 2012, Elevator B has received significant public attention, and was made possible by community support. A local fabricator provided a helping hand to develop an inspiring project that has helped spur the re-imaging of a derelict site. From its inception, the project was imbued with a progressive outlook, as Creenan adds,"[Elevator B] is evidence that design can have a large impact." The innovative design of Elevator B is as refreshing as the team's spirit.
Elevator B was designed, fabricated, and installed in the spring of 2012 by Courtney Creenan, Kyle Mastalinski, Daniel Nead, Scott Selin, and Lisa Stern while students at the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning.