Next week, five new hotels will be completed in London. They will bethe picture of exclusivity, with custom rooms, balconies, andspectacular views of greenery at every turn. They will cater to thecity’s most loyal tourists, by which we mean, of course, the insects.
Yes, the insects of London are just days away from fetching up infive-star opulence. To this we owe Beyond the Hive, acompetition that asks architects to design high-class critter habitats, as part ofLondon’s celebrations for the International Year of Biodiversity. Five teams were short-listedrecently and started construction on their assorted digs, from a”Beevarian” chalet to an “Inn Vertebrate.” (Ah, Brits. They’re justcrawling with puns.)
Here’s a rendering of the Inn Vertebrate, designed by MetalanguageDesign. The inn’s described as a”boutique bug hotel” in the “fashionable area of Old Street” (in acemetery, actually), whose suites have names like the Cardboard Roomsand the Straw Combs, and come “sumptuously furnished” in terracotta,bamboo, brick, logs, and moss. It’s the perfect setting for”illustrious guests,” we’re told — namely lacewings, beetles, spiders,and bees.
Over in West Smithfield, the landscape designers Fisher Tomlin are hot on the trail of the Jengacraze, with five beetowers (top image). The boxes can be variously configured, whether into a two-story wildlife B&B or a high-rise hotel, tosuit your apian lodgers’ every need.
Below, a sketch of the chalet slated for Cleary Garden. Quaint as can be with planters and eaves
Starting next week, you, dear reader, can cast a ballot for yourfavorite design online. Two Golden Beetle awards will be presented during theLondon Festival of Architecture, one to thewinner of the public vote, the other to the winner chosen by ajudging panel, which includes, among other celebrated experts, the Daily Telegraph‘s beekeeping correspondent (their man in honeycomb, you might say).