In 2014, we were approached by some ladies who keep bees in the gardens on Petřín Hill in the historical center of Prague. They needed a bee house. So we designed them a lovely one – two storeys and a cupola like Brunelleschi’s Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence. Though the bee house is no longer standing on Petřín Hill, it inspired us. The Ester Tower built in 2017 in Jerusalem, Israel is its direct descendant. Another few years went by. We were discussing an entirely different project in the bureau when the investor saw a picture of the original bee house on the wall. It was love at first sight. We started building immediately. As if that weren’t enough, during production we were approached by the organisers of an exhibition exploring one hundred years of Czech architecture, to be held at the Prague Castle. They asked us whether we had any models. So we lent them the life-size bee house. They exhibited it right next to a poster for Ester. The apiary on Petřín Hill will be built, too. But before then, golfers arriving at the green are greeted by its cousin in Prague Hostivař.
What makes this project one-of-a-kind?
The Bee House is a pure instance of architecture, pure charm of architecture. The joy of creation, joy of beautiful form and composition. We call this natural architecture. A gentle rhythm of wooden planks within this semi-transparent structure generates visual interference patterns. These images vary under the sun during the day and under artificial light at night. The entirety is topped with a wooden pennant.