- Artists: Wolfgang Buttress
- Location: Milan Expo 2015 / Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, London
- Date: 2015 – 2016
- Produced by: Simmonds Studio, architectural practice BDP, Stage One
- External links: The Hive
Hive was originally conceived as the centrepiece of the UK Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo and was the first UK Pavilion to be reused
and brought back to Britain after an Expo to be sited in its permanent home at Kew Gardens.
170,000 pieces of aluminium form a 17m high, hive-like structure of
latticework, controlled by the vibrations of honeybees in a hive at Kew that is
connected to the sculpture.
The Hive consists of 32 horizontal stacked
layers of hexagonal geometry creating an abstracted analogue of a honeycomb. A
rotational twist in the aluminium structure introduces movement, suggestive of
a swarm. The form is a 14m cube raised-up on columns, appearing almost to
hover, 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.
(vibration sensors) are used to measure the activity of a real bee colony in
the UK, feeding real-time signals to a 1000 RGBW LED light array inside the
spherical void. Algorithms are used to convert the bee colony vibrations into
lighting effects. Each light is individually - addressable allowing for the
Hive to pulse and glow in response to the signals it receives, so acting as a
visual representation of bee activity. This unison of light and sound brings
together art and science, through the research methods of Dr. Martin Bencsik
and the vision of Wolfgang Buttress. The Hive explores the life of the bee
colony through an immersive multi-sensory experience.