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The Salisbury Apiary

Part 1 Project 2012
Christopher Moore
University of the West of England, UK
Taking inspiration from John Constable’s romantic vision of Arcadia, the Salisbury Apiary sits embedded within the landscape, and enclosed from its surroundings. Ancient civilisations saw the honeybee as a celestial creature, that somehow filled the void between man and the divine. Honey was often seen as a heavenly substance; as a gift from the gods. In recent times honeybees have been mistreated- the monocultures created by modern farming practices and the destruction of natural wildflower habitats have seen honeybee populations fall into rapid decline.

Bees are kept at the churches which surround Salisbury, creating an arcadian network which runs throughout the city, ingrained within the city’s history and traditions. Beekeepers regularly journey through Salisbury to collect honey from the churches in highly visible processions throughout the city, encouraging people to visit the building and become a part of the honey making process. These visitors will be drawn through the site towards the tower, standing as a beacon within Salisbury- a 21st Century addition to the spires and church towers which dominate the skyline of the historic city. The building itself provides a home for up to 8 beekeepers, who will use their time in the building to learn the traditional art of beekeeping. Historically bees were kept in monasteries by monks, based upon the principles of monasterial living, the building centres around a courtyard, it is the part of the building where public and private collide becoming an entrance point, a circulation space- a room in its own right creating a connection between residents and visitors.

The Salisbury Apiary will promote traditional beekeeping methods, honey will be processed by hand and visitors to the building will be able learn, participate and enjoy the process of honey production, their journey through building and their further journeys throughout the site and the city.

Christopher Moore


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