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carnegie mellon university school of archtiecture thesis studio 2012

beespace

stephanie newcomb

bee space

the space between 1/4” and 3/4”

2

ABSTRACT

Given the continuous decrease of the apis mellifera with the continental United States, this thesis proposes a causative model for the cohabitation of honey bees and humans within the urban environment of Washington D.C. The thesis is based on a fictional narrative that starts with the collapse of the rural beehive and speculates about the future of the territorialization of the city through a network of beehives. The study is about the coevolution between humans from the desire and importance of honey to the understanding of control over the bees through their architecture. The standards created through vernacular and more contemporary beehives inform the new typology of residential cohabitation.

Beespace by Stephanie Newcomb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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CONTENTS PA R T O N E the existing context apis mellifera co-evolution of species scales of intervention beekeeping process PA R T T W O the cohabitation of species life cycles the program the habitat dc urban analysis PA R T T H R E E case study houses single house bee-co-op courtyard house v.1 courtyard house v.2 PA R T F O U R final prototype PA R T F I V E solar gain shadow studies temperature variations building integrity

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part one the existing context, apis mellifera, co-evolution of species, scales of intervention

apple

cherry

pl

pear

raspberry

There is a continuous decrease in the honey bee population that has been seen greatly within the United States. Although the decreasing number are product of several of diseases, agro-chemical contacts and bad diets, the bees as a whole are under serious stress. The population since 1940 has dropped by half, that is from 5 million beehives to 2.5 million beehives.

soybean

buckwheat

The decreasing bee population through the varroa termite, colony collapse disorder has raised importance of the act of pollination for the survival of food production and the survival of the human population and its quality of life. The dependency of the agriculture production on the bee pollination makes this problem directly affect the agricultural practice and the decrease of several fruits and vegetables1. About one in three crops are dependent on bee pollination [fig.1]. Several fruits and vegetables would not be available for most of the increasing human population and although the decrease of bee population does not directly harm the human population it affects the granted quality of life that as humans we have grown used to.

DECREASING POPULATION

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1 Roach, John. “Bee Decline may Spell End of Some Fruits, Vegetables.� National Geographic. Online. 5 October 2004. Accessed March 2012. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/ news/2004/10/1005_041005_honeybees.html

strawberry alfalfa

apricot sunflower

lum blueberry cucumber

watermelon

peach

onion

cantaloupe

turnip

squash

fig clover

almond

“bees contribute to global food security, and their extinction would represent a terrible biological disaster� Bernard Vallat, director general of the World Organization for Animal Health

fig. 1 This image examines the crops that depend on bee pollination. the transparency of the bar indicates how dependant the plant species is dependant on the honey bee, black being the most critical

a p i s

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m e l l i f e r a apidae family

fig. 2 This image is the european honey bee, scientifically known as the apis mellifera. This photograph was taken thanks to the Department of Invertebrate Zoology in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh.

From the bee’s perspective, humans have helped through artificial selection. The apis mellifera through this process has developed successfully in most countries. The value that has been attributed to this species has changed within the history of man. From forage to the modern mechanization of the animal, we have helped the European honey bee to survive and conquer the land. According to Michael Pollan, in his book the Botany of Desire1, he places the hypotheses that humans have co-evolved with plants and that maybe instead of humans domesticating the plants for their benefit, it has been the plants that have allured the human for their greatest desire: guarantee their own survival. Through the history of the coevolution between bees and humans, there is an understanding of the levels of control and the domestication of the species through its architecture. My intent is to speculate on a cohabitation of humans and bees through architecture. Through a method of grafting, elements of both the beehive and the residential structure will be combined, assembled and rearrange to create a new experience of the symbiotic. From the foraging to the mechanization of the bees, humans have had a different interaction with bees [fig.4]. Starting with a foraging practice, honey was perceived as a god’s gift by the Egyptians Honey was sweetness not as sweetener but as a sense of fulfill-

ment. Given the importance of honey to humans, we became interested in owning the hives. With ownership of the hives came the separation of the beehive from its environment. Typically with other animals the separation is what eventually leads to the domestication. However given the social qualities of the insect, the manipulation happened through the beehive. Through the architecture and articulation of the hive, it was possible to control the way that bees grow. Vernacular beehives started with actual tree logs and evolved into different structures exploring materials readily available including ceramic structures, hay woven skeps and mud molded branch hives. Eventually the perfection of the beehive was to increase the efficiency of the harvesting of honey without killing the hive with movable frame structure. Most notable of these structures is the Langstroth hive which is still a widely used model. Besides the development of the hive itself, there was increase to protect the hive from the environment, including bears, honey badgers and other humans. The interesting part is that despite the increasing control over the beehive, the bee was never domesticated unlike other animals. According to several beekeepers , a bee is the same in the rural area and in the city. It is implied that the bee follows the rules of self-organization of the collective rather than the desires of the human.

co-evolution

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1 Pollan, Michael. Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World. New York: Random House. 2001

fig. 3 This collection of images are several different types of beehives throughout the practice of beekeeping: from vernacular tree logs and skeps to the initial practices of movable frame hives. Source: Eva Crane’s The World History of Beekeeping and honeyhunting.

FORAGE THE NATURAL HABITAT TO EUROPEAN BEES CORRESPONDS TO CREVICES IN TREES, ABANDONED RAT BURROWS AND UNDER LEAF MATTER

honey as sweetness AS THE ONLY SOURCE OF A SWEET TASTE, PEOPLE PERCIEVED HONEY NOT ONLY THROUGH TASTE BUT AS A SWEETNESS OF FULFILLMENT

langstroth hive THE NEED TO MECHANIZE AND OPTIMIZE THE BEEHIVE TO ASSURE PRODUCTION LEAD TO THE CREATING A FRAME OPERATING SYSTEM WHERE THE REMOVING THE HONEY WOULD NOT HURT THE HIVE.

OWNERSHIP OF HIVES

THE INCREASING CONTROL OVER BEEHIVES MEANT THAT THE BEEHIVE HAD TO BE OPTIMIZED TO FACILITATE THE EXTRACTION OF HONEY WHILE TRYING TO NOT DESTORY THE WHOLE HIVE.

SEPARATION FROM WILDERNESS THERE GREW A NECESSITY TO PROTECT THE HIVE FROM ITS SURROUNDINGS ESPECIALLY FROM ANIMALS AND OTHER MEN. THE HIVES WERE SET WITHIN SEPARATE STRUCTURES TO AVOID GETTING STOLEN.

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the origin of the species.

a story of co-evolution between humans and bees

cross-pollination THE BEE THROUGH ITS COLLECTION OF BEE AND NECTAR TAKES POLLEN THROUGH A FIELD PROVIDING THE NECESSARY CROSS-POLLINATION OR SELF POLLINATION FOR THE PLANT TO REPRODUCE.

the farmer/beekeeper THROUGH CROSS-POLLINATION OF THE FIELD, THE FARMER CAN BENEFIT OF A SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP WHERE BOTH BENEFIT .

VS CARTESIAN DESCARTES REGARDED THE BODY AS A MACHINE. ANIMALS WERE REGARDED AS AUTOMATA WHILE HUMANS WERE MIND-BODY COMPOSITE. ANIMALS HAD NO SPEECH; THEY HAD NO THOUGHT.

CO-EVOLUTION IN 1895 DARWIN THROUGH HIS BOOK THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES CLAIMED THE EVOLUTION OF EACH SPECIES FOR ITS SURVIVAL: FORMED THROUGH ITS PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT AND ITS RELATIONSHIPS TO OTHER ANIMALS. ANIMALS ARE READ WITHIN THEIR CONTEXT.

the triumph of descartes is the mechanization of the whole process of beekeeping to an industrial scale.

fig.4 This diagram illustrates the history between men and bees in terms of control, ownership and philosophy. The diagram was made through several sources especially through Eva Crane’s World History of Beekeeping and Honey Hunting and John Berger’s Why Look at Animals?.

uncontrolled uncontrolled uncontrolledinin in the the thewild wild wild

UNCONTROLLED IN THE WILD UNCONTROLLED UNCONTROLLED IN IN THE THE WILD WILD

This is the most “natural” practice. The bee has control over where to set up the hive. This types of beehives are rarely seen in the last few years. This practice encourages a honey-hunting rather than tending care. It also involves the killing of the hive.

uncontrolled uncontrolled uncontrolled inin inaaashared shared shared structure structure structure

controlled controlled controlled inin inthe the thewild wild wild

UNCONTROLLED IN A SHARED UNCONTROLLED UNCONTROLLED IN IN ATA SHARED SHARED S T R U C U R E SS TT RR UU CC TT UU RR EE

CONTROLLED IN THE WILD CONTROLLED CONTROLLED IN IN THE THE WILD WILD

This is the unwanted practice of beekeeping given that it is where the bees are perceived as pests. However it is a common occurrence given that the cavities in between walls and other parts of the residential house are comfortable, dark spaces for beehives to develop. Also given the residential character, bees are close to nectar sources such as nearby gardens.

The definition of ‘wild’ is questionable in this case but this practice of beekeeping is the most used in agricultural practices . ‘Wild’ refers that the beehive is located outside of the domestic radius and placed within the landscape. In this case, the bees are controlled however given that they are out of the domestic radius, they have freedom to roam within a 2 mi radius.

beekeeping typologies

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controlled controlled in ain a controlled controlled in ain a separate separate structure structure shared shared structure structure

controlled controlled andand distanced distanced

scales ofintervention intervention scales scalesofof intervention

CONTROLLED CONTROLLED CONTROLLED IN S T R U S TS RT UR CU

CONTROLLED AND DISTANCED IN A SEPARATE CONTROLLED IN A SHARED CONTROLLED AND AND DISTANCED DISTANCED AIN SEPARATE A SEPARATE CONTROLLED CONTROLLED IN IN A SHARED A SHARED CONTROLLED C T U R E S T R U C T U R E TC UT RU ER E S TS RT UR CU TC UT RU ER E

The beehive exists within a nearby radius of the domestic human experience however the beehive exists nested within another human made structure that protects the beehive from its environment. This has the potential to be a more social occurrence where the beekeepers make beekeeping into a social activity.

This is a unusual practice in beekeeping where the idea is the close observation of the beehive as an object within a house

The contemporary practice of beekeeping is removed from its environment. With constantly moving site and nutrition, the bee cannot decide its source of nectar but is forced to pollinate certain

INSPECTION OF THE HONEYCOMB

JARRING THE HONEY

$

$$

STRAINING OF THE COMB

SELLING & TRADING

beekeeping process

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BEEHIVE POLLINATION & PRODUCTION

BZZ

INSPECTION OF THE BEEHIVE COLONY

beekeeping: process

fig.5. Diagram of the beekeeping process starting from the bee on the right to the act of exchange and consumption of honey. Diagram produced by investigation and interviews with beekeepers.

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part two the cohabitation of species, life cycles, the program, the habitat

1 the collapse of the rural beehi

2 the migration of bees into the

3 the necessity of the bee with t

4 the development of the co-hab 22

ive

e city

the paranoia of the swarm

bitation

There are four main premises [previous page] which underline the development of a symbiotic relationship of cohabitation: the collapse of the rural beehive given the decrease of rural bee population, the migration either natural or artificial of the bees into the city, the mixed thoughts of necessity and paranoia are mixed within an environment and the necessity of a cohabitation system to control the territories of the bees. The fictional premises underline a speculation which the project is based on. Through these premises the idea is to speculate on how would two species: bees and humans cohabitate within an architecture that facilitates their relationship.

Through this architecture would it be possible to mediate the domestication between humans and bees? Is it possible for bees to domesticate humans?

cohabitation of species

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LANGSTROTH HOUSE THE LANGSTROTH HOUSE IS BASED ON THE LANGSTROTH HIVE. THE HOUSE IS STRUCTURED INTO FRAMES. THE HOUSE FOLLOWS CORRECT DIMENSIONS TO ALLOW FOR MOVEABLE FRAMES. THE HOUSE DOESN’T GROW BUT BECOMES A HOUSE WITHIN A HIVE. JUST AS EXISTING BEEHIVES, THE HOUSE IS PERCIEVED AS A NEW AND MORE SPATIAL TYPOLOGY OF PRODUCTIVE BEEKEEPING.

HONEY FACADE HOUSE THE HONEY BEE FILLS OUT THE COMBS THROUGH OUT WHATEVER CAVITY HE CAN FIND. FILLING WITH PROPOLIS ANY CAVITY AND LIGHT HOLE HE FINDS, THE STRUCTURE GLOWS OF YELLOW AND THE HONEY DRIPS OUT AS THE NUMBERS GROW. THE FRAMES ARE PLACED EVERYTIME THE BEES FILL OUT THEIR SPACE. THERE IS NO SWARMING; A NEW SECTION IS MADE AROUND THE HOUSE. AS THE BEES GROW IN NUMBERS, THE HOUSE GETS DARKER AND DARKER.

TOP BAR HOUSE THE BARS SPAN ACROSS THE TOP OF THE HOUSE PROVIDING A SORT OF PARASOL FROM THE SUN. SOON ENOUGH THE BEES START BUILDING THEIR HIVE USING THE TOP BARS AS SUPPORT, THE CATENARIES OF COMBS FALL ONTO THE HOUSE. THEY START ATTACKING THE HOUSE.THE OWNER SIT AND OBSERVE THE GROWTH. sOON ENOUGH THEY ARE WITHIN THE CATENARIES.

OBJECT HOUSE THE BEEHIVE AS AN OBJECT RESIDES INSIDE THE HOUSE, AS A PET ORNAMENT. THE COMPLEXITIES OF THE HONEYCOMB ARE VISUALIZED THROUGH TINTED RED GLASS. [BEES CAN PERCIEVE OF ULTRAVIOLET AS A COLOR BUT ARE COMPLETELY BLIND TO RED.] THROUGH THE GLASS THERE IS THE SENSATION OF MOVEMENT, BUZZING AND WILDERNESS BUT IT SITS VISUALLY AWAY FROM ITS SURRONDINGS INA PHYSICAL OBJECT MARGINILASATION.

fig.6. Case study houses produced as grafts between beehives and houses.

HOUSE

planting of perennials DEFENDING THE HIVE

HOUSE

SWAR

checking bee population

planting of perennials DEFENDING THE HIVE

BEEHIVE

COLLECT

H AT C H I N G L A R VA E & P U PA E MAKING HONEY

checking bee population

BEEHIVE

TENDING BROOVD H AT C H I N G L A R VA E & P U PA E MAKING HONEY

TENDING BROOVD

WINTER

SPRING

WINTER

SUM

SPRING

SUMMER

MAXIMUM

M A X I M U M P O P U L AT I O N

honey substitute

light basswood and early tree blooms honey substitute

clover and wild flowers

light basswood and early tree blooms

clover and wild flowers

FORAGE

FORAGE

spring-summer daily cycle

fall-winter daily c

spring-summer daily cycle

fall-w

PROTECTION OF THE HIVE checking the beehive PROTECTION OF THE HIVE

PROTECTION OF THE HIVE TENDING OF BROOD

checking the beehive PROTECTION OF THE HIVE

SLEEPING FORAGERS

A KI E NUO R SFE SB R O O D T EANW D NG

SLEEPING FORAGERS

DAWN

AWAKE NURSES

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DAWN

MORNING

MAKING OF HONEY

AFTERNOON

DUSK

FA N N I N G A N D E VA P O R AT I V E COOLING

MORNING

MAKING OF HONEY

AFTERNOON

FA N N I N G A N D E VA P O R AT I V E COOLING

DUSK

life cycles. Examining a year long relationship between the honey bee and a human.

SWARM POTENTIAL

life cycles. SWARM POTENTIAL

guiding swarm to new hive

Examining a year long relationship between the honey bee and a human.

COLLECTING POLLEN

SWARM POTENTIAL

honey extraction

SWARM POTENTIAL

a d d i n g s u b s t i t u gt uei d(i fnog ns dw a a rnmt )t o

new hive

EFENDING THE HIVE

COLLECTING POLLEN

H I B E R N AT I O N

honey extraction

adding substitute (fondant)

STORAGE OF SURPLUS HONEY

H I B E R N AT I O N

STORAGE OF SURPLUS HONEY

MMER P O P U L AT I O N

FALL SUMMER

WINTER

FALL

M A X I M U M P O P U L AT I O N

WINTER honey surplus

japanese knotweed, invasive ripa honey surplus

japanese knotweed, invasive ripa

clover and wild flowers

providing substitute

fall-winter daily cycle

H E AT I N G

providing substitute

winter daily cycle

H E AT I N G

checking the beehive

PROTECTION OF THE HIVE

checking the beehive SLEEPING

PROTECTION OF THE HIVE TENDING BROOD

E AT I N G S U R P L U S H O N E Y O R SUBSTITUTE

DAWN

SLEEPING

MORNING AFTERNOON T E N D I N G B R O O D DUSK E AT I N G S U R P L U S H O N E Y O R SUBSTITUTE

fig. 7 Diagram of the activity between bees and humans throughout one year. the spring/summer and fall/winter are further divided into the DAWN MORNING AFTERNOON DUSK average daily activity.

LIVING ROOM

KITCHEN

THE LIVING ROOM AS A SPACE FOR OBSERVATION: TO OBSERVE AND BE OBSERVED. AS THE MOST PUBLIC ROOM IT IS ABOUT A VISUAL CONFRONTATION BETWEEN ANIMAL AND MEN. THE DIFFERENT CHARACTERISTICS ARE PRESENT FROM BOTH SPECIES: THE SOCIAL AND INDIVIDUAL BEHAVIOUR AND ORGANIZATION.

THE KITCHEN IS A PLACE FOR THE COLLECTION AND PRODUCTION OF FOOD. AS A ONE WAY RELATIONSHIP THE MAN CAN ACCESS THE HIVE THROUGH SOME MOVABLE FRAMES AND COLLECT HONEY AND POLLEN FOR CONSUMPTION AT A LOCAL LEVEL. THE SPACE ADORNED WITH HERBS AND GRASSES OFFERS A PLACE FOR THE COLLECTION OF NECESSARY RESOURCES FOR THE BEES. THIS IS ALSO WHERE THE HUMANS INTRODUCE DIET SUPPLEMNTS IF NECESSARY.

for observing and being observed.

for harvesting and collecting.

AS A PLACE FOR HARVEST A GARDEN MIGHT BE INTRODUCED FOR THE HARVEST OF THE NECTAR.

SOUTHERN FACADE

OBSERVATION HIVES WITHIN THE KITCHEN, ALL THE FRAMES ARE REMOVABLE FOR HARVEST OF THE HONEY AND POLLEN. THE SURFACE OF THE FRAMES ALLOWS FOR THE REMOVALBE OF THE INDIVIDUAL COMPONENTS.

IF POSSIBLE THE SWARMS OF BEES MIGHT MOVE UNDERNEATH THE HOUSE INTO A STRUCTURE THAT IS SIMILAR TO THAT OF A TREE.

FILTERED ENTRANCE

A HONEY EXTRACTOR IS INTRODUCED TO HELP THE HARVEST OF THE HONEY.

BY RAISING THE HOUSE, THE ENTRANCE CAN BE ISOLATED FROM THE BEE ENTRANCE SWARMS.

The definition of domestication is the process of artificial selection or “species in which the evolutionary process has been influenced by humans to meet their needs1”. The question is not if the bee is truly a domesticated animal but exploring the levels of domestication, or the scales of intervention. What is truly symbiotic is what lies in-between this range of scales. The project started looking more specifically at the house as a program grafted within a beehive,

humans and bees could coexist with a single structure. A house that is informed by both human patterns in relation to the bee that is a house that follows a life cycle [previous page]. The coevolution of humans and bees is the domestication of the bee as well as the domestication of the human. Through a symbiotic architecture, the human could become increasingly domesticated by the bee, that is humans would follow more closely the patterns of the bee to guarantee the survival of

program

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1 definition from Wikipedia on domestication.

WORK / STUDY

BEDROOM

THIS ROOM IS WHERE THEY TEND EACH OTHER. AS A MATTER OF RESEARCH OF OVERALL GROOMING, THE BEES AND HUMANS COME INTO CONTACT TO HELP THEIR PHYSICAL BODIES. THE HUMAN CLEANS THE HIVE AND CHECKS ITS GROWTH. IT CHECK THE POPULATION AND OVERALL PRODUCTION AND SWARM CONTROL. THE BEES GET SLOWLY DOMESTICATED TO THIS TYPE OF CARE.

AS THE MOST PRIVATE OF ALL ROOMS IT RESIDES IN VISUAL DENIAL OF THE OTHER. IT IS A CALMING REFUGE WHERE THE BUZZ OF THE BEES PERMEATES INTO THE BEDROOM WITH MORE INTENSITY THAN THE REST OF THE HOUSE. THE WHITE NOISE HELPS THE REST. HERE BOTH COHABITATE IN ISOLATION OF EACH OTHER.

for tending and cleansing.

for calming and resting. FLUVIUM AS AN INTERSTITIAL SPACE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT GROVVES ONTO THE EXTERIOR SURFACE GUIDE THE GROWTH OF THE HONEYCOMBS

ACCESIBLE BEEHIVES FOR INSPECTION

NECTAR SOURCES

MOSQUITO NET/FILTER

BY COMPRESSING THE BEEHIVE SPACE NEAR THE BEDROOM, THE CENTER OF THE CLUSTER IS CLOSER TO THE INTERIOR WALL WHICH ALLOWS THE VIBRATIONS TO DISSIPATE LESS.

BEES CAN GO IN

USING CONCAVE SHAPES THE SOUND IS TRANSMITTED INTO THE BEDROOM TO CREATE A CALMING EFFECT ESPECIALLY DURING THE WINTER WHERE THE BEES CLUSTER TO GENERATE HEAT.

the bee in order to guarantee the existing quality of life and perhaps even through the cohabitation increase the experience of a mutual relationship between three entities: the human, the architecture and the bee. The program in each of the small houses [above] was reduced into four spaces: the living room for observation, the kitchen for harvesting, the work/study room for tending and the bedroom for relaxation.

THE SURFACE USES THE STETHOSCOPE PRINCIPLE TO AMPLIFY THE BUZZING OF THE BEES.

the b

Given the current state of the coevolution where there is a stress not only on the bee population but also on the dependency of the bee. In the last few years, the bees have been introduced into urban and suburban environment where it has been proven to be a better environment for the bees: they are under less stress given that they are usually not put there to perform nor do they travel throughout the country, they have a greater diversity of nectar sources. Given that the cities are better environments, there are several issues that have to address for the cohabitation of the species. The cohabitation implies a step beyond the perception of the bee as a pest. Cohabitation means to deal with a habitat and not only a structure [fig. 8]. Looking at Washington D.C. as a case study, a network [fig.9] spreads over of the existing man-made patterns of the city. The new layer of bees juxtaposes the man-made patterns to create a symbiotic relationship of patterns and interventions. Pierre L’Enfant created the diagonal and roundabouts around the city of DC to open up the space like Paris. This layer of man-made pattern overlays the organization of the city. The bees would impose their new organization and imprint the existing levels of control, organization and movement.

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the flower habitat

the city

beehive

the garden

fig 8. These are the scales at which the city has to be rethought in order to consolidate the cohabitation of species. Image of DC sourced from googlemaps.

S I T E E C O L O G Y

2 M I L E R A D I U S

FORAGING RADIUS 3 M I L E R A D I U S

TERRITORIES M A R S H E C O L O G Y

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fig 9. This illustration is the proposed network of beehive environments that spreads throughout the city. Each instance represents a different way of beehive territory. The intention in thesis is to develop one of these instances. Information sourced from wikipedia and GIS maps. N A T I V E E C O L O G Y

C U R A T E D E C O L O G Y

R I P A R I A N E C O L O G Y

TERRITORIES M A R S H E C O L O G Y

R I P A R I A N E C O L O G Y

N A T I V E E C O L O G Y

C U R A T E D E C O L O G Y

T R E E C O V E R A G E

ECOLOGY TYPES

GREEN SPACES

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part three process: house studies, single house, courtyard house

process models

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The house studies started with small case study houses [fig. 10] that explored the one thing that beehives actually control which is the growth of the bee. Four houses were developed using different frameworks of growth: from the limited object house, where the beehive is perceived as an object to the top bar house where using a structural framework, the bees grow honeycomb that is in conflict with the house structure. The human house is based slightly on a pin-wheel spatial organization to explore the visual qualities through space while separating the spaces. Although this is not as effective in all the case study houses it provided a springboard for the organization.

house studies

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top bar house

honey facade house

langstroth house

object house

NATURALLY, BEES GROW IN CATENARIES WITHIN A HIVE. THE STRUCTURE IS REDUCED TO THE TOP BARS OF THE FRAME AND ALLOW FOR THE BEES TO GROM FROM THE BAR AND FALL ONTO THE HOUSE.

USING THE EXISTING IDEA OF A SINGLE BEEHIVE, THE SINGULAR UNIT IS STACKED WITHIN A STRUCTURE TO CREATE DENSITY OF POPULATION.

GIVEN THE TYPICAL LANGSTROTH BEEHIVE, THE FRAMES ARE EXTENDED TROUGH THE HOUSE TO COVER THE ENTIRE HOUSE. THE HOUSE EXISTS AS A STATIC STRUCTURE JUST LIKE THE LANGSTROTH HIVE.

THE BEEHIVE IS PLACED WITHIN THE HOUSE. THE PEOPLE SURROND THE BEES AND OBSERVE AND HEAR THEIR LOW FREQUENCY BUZZ WHILE THEY SLEEP. THE BEES ARE UNABLE TO LOOK OUT BECAUSE OF THE RED GLASS ENCLOSURE. THE SPACE PIVOTS AROUND THEBEEHIVE WHICH ALLOWS DIFFERENT VIEWS INTO IT.

beehive structure

beehive structure

beehive structure

beehive structure

inside program

inside program

KIT CH

EN

EN

KIT CH

DIO

DIO

ING

IN

G

RO O

M

EN

STU LIV

LIV

inside program

inside program

KIT CH ST U

RO O

M

BE

DR OO

STU

M

DIO

BE

DR OO

ST

UD

M

IO

KIT CH

EN

BED

RO O

M

house massing

house massing

BE LIVI

NG

DR OO

M

RO O

M

LIV

ING

RO O

M

composite

composite composite

fig 10. These are the exploded and composite axonometrics for each of the case studies. The main parts of the houses can be separated into: the human space, the beespace and the program.

composite

BEEHIVE NECTAR SPA

BEEHIVE WALL

CIRC

ULA TION ENT

RAN

CE CIRC

ULA TION KITC

HEN

STA

IRW EL

L

The four case study houses developed into a single house that joined several parts but also introduced a new program: the artificial or natural foraging well [fig 13]. The southern facade is sacrificed for the bees: the beehive wall gather the heat of the sun and works as a trombe wall system to the house. The house by being elevated separates the flying bees in front of their hive into a higher elevation to avoid discomfort [fig.11]. It also creates a way to enter the house from below.

40

The four programs of the single unit house are used and in between these spaces are light wells of a soft flexible material that allow light and air to filter in as well as allowing a place for bees to forage when there is a lack of natural nectar sources. By placing these spaces within the house, the individual bee is confronted with domestic space and the human is confronted with the visible presence of the bee and its needs.

SINGLE HOUSE

ACE

LIGHT WELLS

BED

ROO

M

GREEN ROOF

SLOPED ROOF CHANNELS HOT AIR OUT

LOW PRESSURE POINT

LOW PRESSURE POINT

E

W

LIVING SPACE

KITCHEN

PLANTS WITHIN THE LIGHT WELLS

BEDROOM

NW +W WIND

VEGETATION AS WIND BREAKER

[clockwise from bottom right] fig. 11. A section demonstrating the air ventilation system: the light wells pull air through while the plants within the tunnels cleanse the air. fig. 12. Two small renderings of the house elevated from the street. fig. 13. a series of sectional axonometrics showing the relationships between the interior space and the light wells.

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fig. 14. Photographs documenting a model composed of frames. The frames represent the structural and main sytem of the house where the frames of the beehives relate directly to the structure of the house. The single house was developed into this structural method.

The relationships that happened within the single house were reinterpreted into a larger scale that could adapt better to the urban environment especially to the DC environment. The co-op structure is based on the restraints of an apartment building and the bee wall that structure throughout the house. The idea of the bee co-op is to also engage the idea that the building is within itself a community. This addresses mostly the matters of occupancy. The main premise is that by using the network of pollination territories [fig.9] one of those instances is developed into a comprehensive project. Ideally that one instance is developed as the most ambitious of the typologies and creates a model for development within the network. After defining the program, several sites were examined within the downtown area of DC [fig 16]. These sites were examined according to their neighborhood and their engagement with neighboring buildings. The site chosen was the one that was specifically located in a residential area of the city. The site is located in between Georgetown and Downtown on the west end. The area is characterized for its residential character and the courtyard typology of the residential houses.

beeco-op

44

fig. 15. This photograph of the model is the first instance of the multiple dwelling unit. The outside units surround a garden.

W ST N

23

RD

ST N

W

24 TH

MS TN

W

IRE

PSH

HAM

W

N AVE

ST NW 10 T

H

11 T

H

ST NW

NEW

NEW YORK AVE NW

HS TN

W

PE

NN

SY LV AN

NI

A

AV E

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LAF AYE T

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fig 16. Sites examined within DC downtown area. The circle on the top left is the chose site for this project (site option 3).

The bee co-op developed to a sixteen unit apartment building. The typology of a courtyard was studied and adapted given the sense of genius loci that is developed within the massing of the apartment. The garden embedded within the building becomes an immediate forage site for the bee population. The two ‘L’ shapes of the apartment dwelling define a courtyard space as seen in the plans [fig. 16]. The outer layer of building is made up of several layers of mass and void. A layer of beehives surrounds the living units. The beehive entrances face into

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the interior of the site so the bees can exit into the courtyard. On the outside layer of the beehive wall a series of terraced walkways wrap the building to provide access to the beehives. Windows punch through the beehives to bring light into the space.

courtyard house v.1

bee walls

separation SW-NE

programmatic units (16 total units)

compression of the courtyard

NW bee wall shear

openings

internal mesh

outer mesh

framing

(from left to right) fig 17. Birds eye rendering of the courtyard house. fig. 18. Plans for the iteration. fig 19. Procedural shifts and massing that led to the apartment building.

The space in between the L-shape lofted apartments and the beehive wall was designed as the new beespace. Rather than being leftover space between parts of the building, These spaces become units for bees to inhabit [next page]. These spaces also allow for the convection of temperature [fig.42] and sound between the hive and the interior space. The surface treatment envelops the domestic space. The beehive to beespace is alternate to every window space. By doing this, the spaces can receive both daylight and beehive treatment. However in this iteration, the courtyard was there as a drag from the previous iteration. The new beespace also had little logic of entry and exit for the bees. The alternating modules and floor slab were in constant conflict thus making an impossible interior space for humans.

courtyard house v.2

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fig 20. (opposite page) This iteration was developed through a vellum draft drawing through a sectional axonometric perspective. fig 21. (this page) The section of the lofted apartments is joined with the beehive wall to produce a composite construction rather than separate.

surface studies

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(from left to right) fig. 22. The surface was cnc-milled from two sides out of a piece of mdf. The regular grid is in conflict with the thickness of the wall. fig.23-24. this surface was developed using Scherk-Collins Sculpture Generator that uses minimal surfaces to understand the geometry behind certain artwork inspired by the Mobius Strip. The surface was made into ribs and assembled. fig.25. This surface was the last to be produced, it is a contoured surface from the surface produced in the computer. This surface was never finished in model form given the time investment it required and the lack of contact of each piece.

interior CONDITIONS

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fig 26. (opposite page) These are images create through photographs of the interior views of the apartment. The interior views try to reveal the framing of the building that follow the beehive. fig. 27 (this page) A photomontage of the courtyard space are made of several layers between the interior and the exterior.

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part four final proposal

The building was reshaped to focus on the southern part of the site. By focusing on one part of the site [fig.39], the building helps define the courtyard space by the surrounding buildings. The ability for the building to focus on one side separates the functions and programs according to the adjacencies . The building goes from the act of honey extraction, the beehive, the beespace, the human space, the in between space, the feeding space, the garden and the observation trellis. The second, third, fourth and fifth floors are all dedicated to the residential and honey production programs. The lower floor is designed to be the retail and support program[fig 33]. The street front is met with a retail space and an informal resource library focusing on bees and pollination. To the back of the site the first floor houses services meant for the apartment building such as laundry , storage and mechanical space. The garden space towards the north side of the site allows for a new forage site but it also now hosts the observation trellis. This observation lightweight structure is meant to mediate a relationship of communication between the bee and the human. It encloses the courtyard space but it is a space for the residents to be able to appreciate the garden, the bee and its behavior.

final prototype

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fig 28. Sectional perspective of the building looking into the the apartment units, the kitchen space and the garden.

These models started from the beginning of the process. However they evolved through the same method of making. Accepting the framed scaffolding structure of the building, it creates an implied model, building and space. They were used throughout the process as a method of testing and experimentation about the design. They were easy to manufacture and assemble [fig. 29] As an examination tool, it allowed to test the design I was making according to these framing condition that happen every two feet. These studies started

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with the single house and developed throughout the semester. As the method progressed, I started to integrate different materials to represent the different layers of the building [fig. 31].

framing models

fig 29. (opposite page) Collection of early framing models made out of paper and wood sticks. fig. 30.(this page) Model produced later in the process.

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fig 31. (opposite page) Model produced with plexiglass, fabric and real honeycomb. fig. 32 (this page) Final model made with plexiglass, beehive foundation, fabric, q-tips and bass wood sticks.

plans SECTION B

SECTION A

SECTIONAL PERSPECTIVE

SECTION C

site plan

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third floor plan

second floor plan

fig 33. (Opposite Page) Site plan of the final proposal. fig 34. (Above) Second and floor plans. These repeat one more time as fourth and fifth floors.

section a

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section b

fig 35. (Opposite Page) Section through residential units, garden and the laundry services. fig 36. (Above) Section through living units, storage space, garden and water retention space.

section c

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fig 37. (this page) Section through residential units, garden, honey production spaces, library resource center and retail. fig 38. (opposite page) Exploded beehive structural module.

framing structure

nectar feeders bee activity

composite module

bee tunnel with perforations

langstroth beehives

mesh directionality from beehive to the outside sugar storage pouches

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part five solar gain, shadow studies, temperature variations, building integrity

The ability to symbiotically integrate with another species is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the each other. Using existing knowledge of the individual bee and the colony, certain aspects of the beehive were used to interpret new ways of living. Temperature is very important for both humans and bees. Temperature is needed to keep warmth and inner body or colony stability during the cold months. Looking at both the humans and bees, thermal comfort guided some important decisions in the design and siting of the building. The siting of the building was optimized for maximum solar gain. Several formal studies of the solar insolation were carried out [fig. 39]. These indicated that an articulated southern facing surface would receive the maximum solar gain. The southern face becomes the beehive wall. By allowing for the beehive to receive sunlight, the beehive can maintain the optimal temperature of 95 F for the colony year round. The solar exposure was also evaluated according to a shadow study made during the summer and winter peak [fig. 40-41]. These studies were made to understand the shadows of the neighboring buildings and the design proposal to understand the solar exposure of the northern garden.

SOLAR AND thermal studies

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solar insolation studies

fig 39. Ecotect test of the solar insolation of the southern facade of the massing models. The insolation studies were according to the data in summer peak day.

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shadow studies

fig 40. (opposite page) Shadow studies were according to the data in summer peak day. fig 41. (thispage) Shadow studies were according to the data in winter peak day.

sections

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heat loss sources

heat sources

gains and losses

natural convection of temperature

supply and demand of temperature

fig. 42. These sketches were made according to the intuitive knowledge of heat convection, gains and loss sources. Some information is referenced concerning the natural convection of temperature and the needed temperature in each room in a residential space from Phillipe Rahm Architectes.

The building is composed of several systems to help maintain an optimal quality for the human and the bee [fig. 43]. The structural system is composed of the interlocking of the beehive wall and the feeding wall. In between these are the human spaces. The beehive wall structurally hold the langstroth beehives. The feeding wall holds the sugar storage system and the nectar feeders that provide supplemental nutrition for when the forage sites are not sufficient. The human system is governed by fire code. There are two exit stairs to the building. One is the main entrance and a fire stair at the back of the building which exits onto the northern side of the site where an alleyway is located. The third system supplies both the bees and human. The water collection and distribution system both alleviates the load from the city water consumption but also provides 100% of the water needed to maintain the garden by using grey water collection. Parallel to these systems are those of honey production. The ability to harvest local honey is healthy for the human body given the pollen and propolis contained within the honey.

R A I N W AT E R C O L L E C T I O N C L E A N W AT E R D I S T R I B U T I O N

20 MODULES 68 HIVES / MODULE 50 LBS OF HONEY / HIVE

possibility of 68000 lbs of honey!

R A I N W AT E R D I S T R I B U T I O N G R E Y W AT E R C O L L E C T I O N G R E Y W AT E R D I S T R I B U T I O N W A S T E W AT E R

building integrity

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fig 43. Exploded axonometric of the buidling. From the opposite page clockwise direction, water system diagram, egress diagram and the structural and composite diagram.

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fig 44. Rendering from street view from 23RD ST NW.

beespace

carnegie mellon university school of archtiecture stephanie newcomb

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BEESPACE