City of London's Bug Hotel Contest asked designers to propose a sustainable "insect hotel" for City of London Parks. Arup Associates' design responded to the way in which different varieties of insects require distinct habitats and environmental conditions to survive. The challenge of designing an insect hotel is therefore to cater for as many of these conditions and contexts as possible.
The "Arup Associates' Insect Hotel" couples these requirements with a sculptural timber structure that reads like a contemporary piece of garden furniture. Its irregular biomimetic pattern has a painterly feel of objets-trouves particularly as its cells consist of the detritus of the natural and man made world comprising mainly of materials from waste management or garden sources.
The aesthetic is in keeping with the City of London Corporation's brief, that suggests the hotel is also "visually engaging and a well crafted object" and "enhances its setting and complementing the garden." The most important consideration, however, is that the hotel will need to be buffered against temperature extremes with humidity maintained for certain species.
"This project is very much in keeping with the practice's interest in the ecology of our environment," said Mick Brundle, Arup Associates' Director. "An interest that has been there from the 1960s when Arup Associates was first founded. We are delighted to continue to work in this vein particularly with the increased interest in sustainability. We are particularly delighted to work on a project that brings to fore the importance of our relationship with wildlife."