The UK Pavilion highlights the plight of the world’s bee population through an immersive multi-sensory experience. Visitors are transported into the world of the honey bee, meandering through an orchard, discovering a meadow of wild flowers and finally entering ‘The Hive’; which pulses, buzzes and glows according to live-streamed signals from a real bee-hive.
The Hive is an abstracted structure of honeycomb. A rotational twist in the structure introduces movement, suggestive of a swarm. The form is a 14m cube raised-up on columns, appearing almost to hover above the meadow. A spherical void hollowed from the centre, allows visitors to enter. Walking beneath the sculpture, visitors may peer up through the glass floor into the interior.
Accelerometers (vibration sensors) are used to measure the activity of a real bee colony, feeding live signals to 1000 RGBW LED luminaires which line the interior of the Hive. Algorithms are used to convert these vibrational signals into lighting effects, for the Hive to pulse and glow, so acting as a visual representation of bee activity. Acrylic rods conduct light from the LEDs into hand blown glass bulbs which refract and diffuse this light within the pavilion. The result is rich, warm honey coloured light that sparkles in amber and reds referencing the natural colours of a honeycomb.
Artist & Creative Lead: Wolfgang Buttress Lighting Design: BDP