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