Reaching Others University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
Skip to Content
Official UB news and information for the media

Vote now! Buffalo bee dwelling is a finalist for international architecture award

Silver-colored tower rising from a bed of snow

Elevator B, designed and built by master's students in UB's School of Architecture and Planning, is located in Silo City in Buffalo. Photo credit: Hive City Design Team

Release Date: February 21, 2013

Elevator B
a silver-colored metal tower rising from a bed of snow

Elevator B in Silo City in Buffalo. Photo credit: Hive City Design Team

High-Res Image
Elevator B hive
honeybee hive inside a wooden box

The honeycomb inside Elevator B, following 5 months of growth. Photo credit: Hive City Design Team

High-Res Image
Elevator B video
“The Hive City team put in so much work into designing and building Elevator B outside of their regular — and already quite full — coursework. It is truly gratifying to see their efforts being recognized by such a significant body of jurors.”
Joyce Hwang, UB Assistant Professor of Architecture and Advisor to the Hive City Design Team

BUFFALO, N.Y. — UB architecture students who designed and built a new home for a colony of bees living in an abandoned Buffalo office building are in the running for a highly regarded architecture prize, and the Western New York community can help them win.

The students’ project, called Elevator B, is one of five finalists in the Student Design/Build Project category of the Architizer A+ Awards.

From now until March 8, members of the public can vote for Elevator B to receive an Architizer A+ Popular Choice Award at http://awards.architizer.com/public/voting/?cid=32.

The project is also a candidate for an Architizer A+ Jury Award, which is decided by a panel of judges drawn from a pool of luminaries that includes renowned architects, architecture critics from media outlets like the New York Times, and the curators and founders of institutions like the Museum of Modern Art and Architecture for Humanity.

The winners of both the Jury and Public Choice Awards will be announced on March 19, and a celebration will follow on May 16.

"For Elevator B to have such a successful occupation by the bees is very exciting and the design team is thrilled over the support we have received to date. We hope the city and region will show their support once again and vote for Elevator B,” said design team member Courtney Creenan on behalf of the entire team.

The project was designed and built in 2012 by five master’s students in UB’s School of Architecture and Planning: Creenan, Kyle Mastalinski, Daniel Nead, Scott Selin and Lisa Stern. All have now graduated.

Elevator B is a 22-foot-tall tower comprising hexagonal steel panels that resemble the patterns in a natural honeycomb. Within this tower, the bees live inside a hexagonal “bee cab,” a wooden elevator that keeps them warm and protected. Beekeepers can lower the cab to gain access to the colony, and visitors can observe the animals up close through the cab’s laminated glass bottom.

Elevator B is located in Silo City, an industrial area along the Buffalo River that is home to a cluster of grain elevators.

The project was the winning design in a student competition organized by the School of Architecture and Planning’s Ecological Practices Research Group and sponsored by Rigidized Metals Corporation with the goal of relocating the bees from their former home in a vacant building set to undergo renovation.

Joyce Hwang, an assistant professor of architecture who partnered with fellow architecture faculty members Christopher Romano and Martha Bohm to coordinate the competition and serve as project advisors, said it’s exciting to see the team receive such a notable recognition.

“The Hive City team put so much work into designing and building Elevator B outside of their regular — and already quite full — coursework,” Hwang said. “It is truly gratifying to see their efforts being recognized by such a significant body of jurors.”

More information on Elevator B is available at http://hivecity.wordpress.com/about/. The project has been recognized internationally as well as locally, winning the Buffalo Architecture Foundation’s Pro Bono Publico Award.

Elevator B: A new home for bees on Buffalo's waterfront

Media Contact Information

Charlotte Hsu
Media Relations Manager, Architecture, Economic Development, Sciences, Urban and Regional Planning
Tel: 716-645-4655
chsu22@buffalo.edu
Twitter: @UBScience
Pinterest: UB Science