Home away from Hive

Mizzi Studio, London, 2022



All photographs Luke O'Dono     Download Original

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Home away from Hive was designed as a temporary installation by Mizzi Studio, chosen as one of three winners in the ‘New Growth on Exhibition Road’ competition run by London Festival of Architecture and Discover South Kensington.

The competition invited designers to create a series of ‘green interventions’ as part of The South Kensington Green Trail. Mizzi Studio, in partnership with the Science Museum, unveiled a timber, hive-like lattice structure in the centre of London’s arts and science district, layered with medicinal and pollinator-friendly plants. The installation aimed chiefly at promoting biodiversity, as well as supporting post-pandemic recovery of the area.

The installation supported the Kensington & Chelsea Council’s Bee SuperHighway eco-initative, mimicking a wild bee’s nest in its form. Its design was built from intersecting elements that created a porous space where people and pollinators could coexist. The installation covered an area of 40m2 and was comprised of two domed lattice structures, linked to create three archways and a circular look-out window.

Home Away from Hive was designed as a jigsaw of half-lapped CNC panels of spruce plywood from sustainably managed forests. These were cut from 8’ x 4’ panels to maximise material usage and minimise wastage. The installation was prefabricated in 20 parts, transported to site and bolted together within a day.

The strength of the lattice structure allowed the team to build almost exclusively from timber, with stainless-steel cables used sparingly for extra support. The lattice intersections promoted natural air circulation and cooling while supporting a system of integrated planters that gave a home to pollinator-friendly plants, collectively acting as a playground for wild pollinators.

The installation was up from July to the end of October 2021, and will subsequently be moved to the Science Museum’s National Collection Centre in Wiltshire as a permanent display.


  • Begun: Jul 2021
  • Completed: Jan 2022
  • Floor area: 40m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £24,500
  • Funding: Exhibition Road Cultural Group
  • Tender date: Apr 2021
  • Procurement: Design and build
  • Address: Science Museum entrance, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2DD, United Kingdom

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