The Honeycombed Architecture Of Buildings That Take Inspiration From The Bees


Image via.

Architects often look to the natural world for inspiration. Sometimes this can result in a project that plays with scale of natural phenomenon, such as Beijing’s Water Cube, which was based on the shape of water bubbles. Other times it can be a more abstract appropriation, as in the case of Bjarke Ingels’s new apartment complex design in the Bahamas, “The Honeycomb.”


The Honeycomb by BIG, Bahamas, Nassau. Image via.

The design of the project did not call on the geometry of the honeycomb for structural integrity. Instead, the hexagon pattern supplied a motif for the facade, adding some visual interest—and character—to the building’s typical rectangular form. Each apartment also has an ample balcony that includes a pool, providing the inhabitants with a semi-private outdoor area from which to enjoy the view of the ocean and tropical weather.

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Materials That Make Architecture Real

Understanding and thoughtfully incorporating materials gives physical presence to the imaginations of architects and designers. Structures can exist conceptually, but without the elements that constitute it, a building would never exist.

Manufacturing and industry have been at the forefront of the exploration of materials and their applications. The growth of products for the physical realization of architectural projects seems to grow exponentially, in lockstep with advances in technology for the culture at large.


Light Transmitting Concrete by Litracon

Needless to say this isn’t your dad’s concrete. Optical glass fibers are blended into the concrete mix for these blocks, allowing light to be transmitted through. Both structurally sound and aesthetically beautiful these concrete blocks are far cry typical manufactured modular block.


Watercube – National Swimming Centre by PTW Architects, Beijing, China

Texlon® by Vector Foiltec

This climatic envelope was a memorable aspect of WaterCube design for the National Swimming Centre of the 2008 Bejing Olympics. The nature of the material allowed the for a facade that looked like water bubbles.


Gazzano House by Amin Taha Architects, London, GB

Cor-Ten Steel by Corten Steel

It is always a good thing for a brand when its name becomes synonymous with a material. In this case it is Cor-Ten, which many people use to designate weathering steel, a type of steel that paradoxically protects itself from deterioration by creating a skin of rust.


Staircases & Railings by Guardian InGlass

The lamination of Guardian InGlass provides safety for its use as a structural material, providing a dramatic detail for designs of staircases and railings.

Read the complete article on Architizer here.