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UB architecture students create buzz

22 foot-tall honeycomb-style tower housing bees on Buffalo's waterfront

22-foot-tall, honeycomb-style tower housing bees on Buffalo's waterfront

Published April 4, 2013

Looks like they created a buzz.  A team of University at Buffalo architecture students have earned international recognition for Elevator B, their 22-foot-tall, honeycomb-style tower housing bees on Buffalo’s waterfront.

“This is an inspiring achievement for our school and a clear reflection of the talent and passion our students bring to their work”
Robert Shibley, Dean
UB's School of Architecture and Planning

The design was named the Jury Award winner in the Student/Design/Build Project category of the highly regarded Architizer A+ Awards, beating out competitors from around the world.

The bees live in a wooden elevator that keeps them safe from the elements, while beekeepers can lower the elevator to gain access to the colony and visitors can observe the animals up close through the laminated glass bottom. It was designed to relocate bees from their home in a vacant building set to undergo renovation and was erected in Silo City, the site of a cluster of grain elevators.

“This is an inspiring achievement for our school and a clear reflection of the talent and passion our students bring to their work,” said Robert Shibley, dean of UB’s School of Architecture and Planning. “Elevator B also demonstrates how our use of Buffalo as a design laboratory generates globally relevant design research and built works.”

The project initially won a student competition organized by UB and sponsored by Rigidized Metals Corporation.

Another Buffalo building, the joint Gates Vascular Institute by Kaleida Health and Clinical and Translational Research Center by UB, was a finalist in another Architizer category.