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The Honey Emporium

Part 1 Project 2010
Bongani Muchemwa
Leeds Beckett University | UK
Run by a retired eccentric professor and mad scientist, desperate to save the world; the Honey Emporium is a whimsical, cottagesque, contraption that forms the gateway to a meadow, away from the hoards of busy Saturday-shoppers in Briggate, Leeds. It is an imaginatorium for sustainable living with particular emphasis on the advantages of urban beekeeping. The professor's latest maverick experiment involves setting up several hundred hives around Leeds, including around 20 within the new proposed meadow park, to prove the latest hypothesis that bees are healthier in cities. The project is responding to an emerging phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder (C.C.D) that has the professor and other scientists worried. Declining bee populations are threatening ecosystems and agriculture, in which bees play a vital role, helping to pollinate flowering crops and plants. Researchers believe the main causes of C.C.D. are hives infested with mites, industrial pesticides and lack of bio-diversity. In a single day bees can forage around a three mile radius, while in the countryside the often very large fields of single crops provides very little choice of nectar but large quantities of pesticides. However, window pots, private gardens and parks in cities provide a variety of nectar, all, almost completely free from pesticides

The Honey Emporium is also a dramatic stage of consumption and production, serviced by vertical stacks of chutes, ducts and tanks, all connected to specialist equipment. Fresh honey is circulated throughout the building, for the production and consumption of mead, honey and candles. Visitors to the Honey Emporium can indulge in activities like beekeeping demonstrations and decorative candle making under the tutorship of the professor.

The design of the building makes reference to medieval bay-windows, the geometry of the honeycomb and the Victorian technology and aesthetics that dominate the context. The interior is imagined as quaint, amusing, and quintessentially English. Antique furniture ,bric-a-brac and trinkets have been reassembled to form the shop’s fixtures and fittings, taking inspiration from the drawings of Heath Robinson, and sculptures of Roland Emmett.

Bongani Muchemwa

The townscape west of Briggate in Leeds is so furrowed with passage-ways it seems as though it has been fed through a shredder. The passage-ways evolved as a result of the system of narrow Burgage Plots laid out on either side of Briggate in 1207. The amount of property currently vacant suggests that a re-planning of the enclave north of County Arcade, to provide though-fares and much needed environmental improvements, would be timely.
The student was asked to define what makes life beautiful or life worth living and try to provide, on this site, the accommodation or infrastructure which would enable those activities or cultural attitudes to flourish.
Bo studied the possibilities of urban bee keeping and the prevention of colony collapse disorder. Visitors to the proposed Honey Emporium can indulge in; beekeeping demonstrations and decorative candle making under the tutorship of the professor who runs the emporium.
Bo has the ability to identify the ordinary and extraordinary in a situation and harness opportunities that the others do not see. Beautiful analytical drawings demonstrate the precision and intensity of Bo’s thinking both from an urban perspective and tectonically. This work is a testament to Bo’s rigorous and thoughtful approach.

Steve Morant
Sarah Mills

Ms Sarah Mills
Mr Steven Morant
• Page Hits: 21863         • Entry Date: 03 September 2010         • Last Update: 18 September 2010