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The Hive

The Hive The Hive Tyrone Branigan

NSW & ACT Entries 2012

The Hive employs timber joinery and furniture manufacturing adventurously building a sculptural and structural spatial form. It uses decorative wood veneer structurally. It is located on the ground floor of a new Sydney Commercial Tower. Conceptually it is designed to create a cosy shelter within the eight storey high atrium. The shape of the curve and the individual hexagonal honeycomb components provide glimpses into the structure but obscure full view. This assemblage sculptures an intimate and private space.

The Hive uses an established 2dimensional company branding (the hexagonal honeycomb) to create a 3dimensional sculptural form. Each honeycomb is identical and individual but when connected form the desired curve. The shape creates drama and is both symmetrical and asymmetrical depending on the view angle. Cantilevered honeycombs on each end appear to float in mid air.

Each honeycomb is screwed together like a meccano set. Located between each honeycomb is a specially designed wedge to create a taper. This achieves the desired arc. Each honeycomb is 680mm and the entire structure is almost 12m long, 6m wide and 3.5m high. The base of the structure is anchored to the floor using steel posts. Plywood cover panels hide these posts from view.

The Hive is modular. It can be reconfigured, moved and re-used. It is easily assembled and uses no glue. The Joiners designed a jig system on which the curve could be manufactured and assembled. Prototypes were made and the entire structure was pre-assembled in their factory. This provided for quality control. It took 3-4 days to assemble the entire structure on site.

The Hive is made from Eco-cert Golden sassafras veneer on 25mm MDF board. Golden Sassafras is dimensionally stable and has a warm glowing aesthetic. It is the colour of honey like a hive and the grain is consistent over large quantities. The design concept of The Hive was to provide an intimate, private shelter in an otherwise large atrium space. These properties of Golden Sassafras are truly instrumental to its success.
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