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New design contest launched for insect hotels in London

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Developer British Land and The City of London are searching for architects to design a series of ‘five star’ biodiversity hotels for insects

The aim of the Beyond the Hive competition is to create ‘ecologically sustainable and original insect habitats’ and it is open to both architects and architectural students.

The contest is being judged by an impressive panel which includes: Paul Finch, chairman of CABE; Sarah Henshall, brownfield officer at conservation organisation Buglife; Adrian Penfold, head of planning and environment at British Land; Graham Stirk, director at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners; and Peter Wynne Rees, the City planning officer with the City of London Corporation.

Five shortlisted schemes will be installed at a City public garden, between 7 and 19 June, coinciding with the London Festival of Architecture.

The City parks include: Bunhill Fields, West Smithfield, Postman’s Park, St Dunstan’s in the East and Cleary Garden.

A ‘Golden Beetle’ award will be presented in two categories, chosen by the judging panel and public. The public can vote for their favourite structure online from 19 to 28 June.

Adrian Penfold said: ‘We anticipate this competition will bestir the industry to put forward innovative architectural and design solutions and make their hotel the place where all the bugs want to stay.’

Sue Ireland, director of open spaces at the City of London Corporation added: ‘We believe these structures will bestow a long term benefit to the City’s insect population and that the competition will encourage renewed interest in the biodiversity of City gardens.’

Entry forms and further information can be found at www.britishland.com/beyondthehive. Closing date for entries is 7 May 2010.

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