cornell university / fall 2020 / 6 weeks
in collaboration with: akiel allen
instructor: prof. caroline o'donnell + dillon pranger
The Bee Welcome Centre sits at the hinge point of the Cornell Campus and the Botanic Gardens, serving not only as an apiary that fosters bee-related education and art, but also a link between these two key areas.
Bees can travel up to 3 miles to reach their source of pollen. We identified gardens on the Cornell campus within this flight area that would be of interest to the bees, and used these locations are attractor points to deform the line of the path from the top of the hill to the bottom. The structure of the building is inspired by the ribbed form of the honeycomb, and these ribs are organized along the curved path at varying densities, responding to the interior program. Cells along the façade stretch from rib to rib, housing honeybees and their honeycombs that filter glowing light into the interior.
The visitor enters the building at the bottom of the hill into the lobby area. Continuing into the building, the visitor arrives in the main exhibition space, where beeswax sculptures are displayed. Along the retaining wall that digs into the landscape, digger bees are displayed between the ribs, and the back wall is created from wood pieces carved by these bees. The cafe looks out into the double-height exhibition space. Beyond the cafe, there is a gift shop and workshop area where the honey products are refined and packaged. The third and final level houses the 56-seat auditorium space, and two beekeeper offices. 
Back to Top