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
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Elevator B, a honeycomb-themed tower
housing bees on Buffalo’s waterfront, has won a
highly-regarded international architecture award.
The dwelling, designed by University at Buffalo architecture
students, was announced on March 19 as the Jury Award winner in the
Student Design/Build Project category of the Architizer A+ Awards. The
project was selected from a pool of competitors worldwide, beating
finalists from locales including South Africa, the Philippines and
“This is an inspiring achievement for our school and a
clear reflection of the talent and passion our students bring to
their work,” said UB School of Architecture and Planning Dean
Robert G. Shibley. “Elevator B also demonstrates how our use
of Buffalo as a design laboratory generates globally relevant
design research and built works.”
This year’s Architizer A+ contest drew thousands of
entries from over 100 countries in several types of architecture,
from residential to cultural to landscape.
The team that dreamed up and built Elevator B included five
master’s students in UB’s School of Architecture and
Planning: Courtney Creenan, Kyle Mastalinski, Daniel Nead, Scott
Selin and Lisa Stern. All have now graduated.
The partners erected Elevator B in 2012 in Silo City, a
waterfront site where a cluster of grain elevators sits.
The project was the winning design in a student competition
organized by the UB School of Architecture and Planning’s
Ecological Practices Research Group and sponsored by Rigidized
Metals Corporation with the goal of relocating a colony of bees
from their home in a vacant building set to undergo renovation.
The tower, 22 feet tall, comprises 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 protected from the elements. Beekeepers
can lower the cab to gain access to the colony, and visitors can
observe the animals up close through the cab’s laminated
Elevator B was one of five finalists for the Architizer A+ jury
prize in the Student Design/Build Project category, which was
decided by judges drawn from a pool of luminaries that included
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
project was also a finalist for an Architizer A+ Popular Choice
award, which is decided by the public.
Another Buffalo building, Kaleida Health and UB’s Gates
Vascular Institute and Clinical and Translational Research Center,
was a finalist in another category of the Architizer awards
Architizer A+ award winners in all categories are invited to
attend an awards gala in May.
“We are so thrilled by the news,” said UB Assistant
Professor of Architecture Joyce Hwang, who served as a project
advisor to the student design team, along with UB architecture
faculty members Christopher Romano and Martha Bohm.
“It is an immense honor for the Hive City Team to win this
international competition, not only due to the high level of
distinction of the jury, but also due to the quality of the
finalist projects that were our team’s competitors,”
Hwang said. “We are very excited that the UB team has won
first place in the only category for students. It will be an
amazing experience for our alumni to be celebrated alongside many
well-recognized professional architects and designers.”
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.