The Birds and the Bees —

Spring 2018
Project Team : Kevin Hai, Mariella Tzakis, Alex Haddad, Mercedes Castrelo-Huntley

In an effort to understand the myriad, large-scale, natural and man-made, urban systems that facilitate architecture at any scale, BeeH.I.V.E.S (Honey Integration and Vitality Expansion System), serves as a proposal for a vertically and horizontally integrated system on Governor’s Island for the stewarding and symbiotic extraction of honey from bee colonies for New York City.

Following an analysis of the island’s existing conditions (ecological, demographic, cultural, infrastructural, aqueous, etc.), the project was initiated by looking at the capacity of the island to serve as a natural sanctuary that is at once separated from the urbanity of the city and a part of it, the existing, bird population was of particular note, and, in an effort to expand on the role of the birds on the island, the bee population is introduced as a symbiotic player in the life cycle of the island’s natural constituents.

The project is articulated at an architectural scale in the honey factory itself, where the systems typical and relevant to the production of honey are stacked and integrated into an efficient, vertical system that allows for the simultaneous extraction, storage, filtration, and shipping of honey. The verticality of the system is of particular note, as it levies physical systems like gravity and offset heat in an effort to produce additional, productive efficiencies.

Additionally, in order to provide this system with the required resources, the natural and man-made systems of the island are levied and capitalized upon: rainwater is collected and floods are stymied off by a series of berms places along the periphery of the island, the honey is transported and shipped via a series of existing roads, piers and ferries already in place, the honey is sold at a network of farmer’s markets all over the city (further referencing the island’s local ambitions), and trees and flora (both new and existing) are used to benefit the populations of both the birds and the bees.