UK Expo Milan 2015 pavilion’s hive to go to Kew Gardens

Prize-winning Milan exhibit to live on in London.

The award-winning electronic beehive which impressed visitors to the UK pavilion at Expo Milan 2015 is to be transported to London and set up again there in Kew Gardens.

The Royal Botanical Gardens in London’s Kew suburb, founded in 1840, are famous as the keepers of the world’s largest collection of living plants, and welcome almost 1.5m visitors every year.

Responding to the Expo theme of “feeding the planet”, the UK pavilion intended to highlight the plight of the honeybee, focussing attention on the importance of pollination in our food chain by reinterpreting apiarian ecology as an immersive multi-sensory experience, said designer Wolfgang Buttress.

The pavilion won the BIE Gold Award for Architecture and Landscape, as well as the FX Design Award.

Once it is installed in Kew in June 2016, the 17m-high hive will continue its mission, started in Milan, of teaching people about bees and crops, said Richard Deverell, director of the Royal Botanic Gardens.

"We are truly delighted to announce The Hive’s move to Kew,” Deverell added, “both for its magnificent aesthetic appeal and for the resonance it has with our work – I can think of no better home for this remarkable marriage of architecture and science.

"The Hive creates a powerful, immersive space for us to explore the urgent issues we face in relation to pollinators, their intimate relationships with plants and their vital role in helping us feed a rapidly growing population. To be able to bring those stories alive here at Kew – a centre of scientific knowledge and expertise and one of the planet’s most biodiverse city landscapes – is a true honour."

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