A competition in London has designers vying for the attentions of a type of lodger not usually considered when drawing up the plans for a hotel: insects. British Land and the City of London Corporation chose to celebrate the International Year of Biodiversity by holding a competition to see who could design the best "hotel" for insects. It's narrowed the list of entrants down to five finalists, with one winner to be selected by public vote and another to be selected by a panel of experts.
With Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) still not fully understood, perhaps the hotels designed by the finalists, which are now under construction, will aid in bees' survival as well as providing a resting place for their other insect friends.
Given that the shortlisted designs are to be constructed in some of London's parks, it's understandable that some of the hotels look more like works of art than simple houses. The design of "The Insect Hotel", for example, is based on a Voronoi pattern and would certainly make an impression in a public space, but how will its environmental credentials match up to those of, for example, the "Brookfield Bug Buddies", designed by Brookfield Europe, who went to the extent of submitting their design to a BREEAM assessment? It will be interesting to see what qualities are considered most valuable by both the public and the judges.
As the shortlisted designers build their hotels for the "Beyond the Hive" competition, we can but wait in hope that the creation of additional habitat for bees will help alleviate CCD. Only one question remains. What design are you going to vote for?