A structure and outdoor space, both inspired by the role of the honey bee, will represent the UK at next year’s Milan Expo.

BDP designs landscape for UK Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015

Nottingham-based artist Wolfgang Buttress has won the competition to design the UK Pavilion for the next Universal Expo. BDP, as part of Buttress’s winning team, will provide landscape, architectural and environmental engineering expertise. 

 
James Millington, landscape architect at BDP, describes the project as ‘a true collaboration between landscape and art that aims to highlight the decline of the world’s bee population and the importance of pollination to the production of food’.

Visitors to the UK Pavilion will walk through a fruit orchard and enter a natural wildflower meadow. As they near the centre of the meadow, the focal point of the structure will come into view: a golden orb made of fine steel lattice based on the design of a honeycomb. This ‘hive’ will pulsate and buzz with the noise of a real bee colony.
 
The orchard of British fruit trees is set within a courtyard space enclosed by high gabion walls filled with broken reused bricks, ‘a reinterpreted garden wall’, explains Millington. A door in the far wall, ‘evoking notions of the secret garden’, opens up to reveal steps that take visitors up through the earth and into a gently undulating English wildflower meadow, ‘essentially a green-roof to a podium building which houses the functional rooms of the Pavilion’.  
 
Plants are raised within the meadow giving a ‘bee’s-eye’ view and inviting visitors ‘to empathise and see the world from a different perspective’. 
 
The path divides into multiple routes, Millington adds, ‘referencing the orienteering bee dance, allowing the visitor to explore and participate in the creation of their own journey’. After emerging from the meadow the visitor has an uninterrupted view of the sculpture, ‘a virtual hive suggestive of the planet, the sun, a grain of pollen and most importantly a bee hive’.  
 
Stage One and Rise will build the £6 million winning design.

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