Finland – Aiming to provide an urban shelter for pollinators, a clay structure dubbed an ‘insect hotel’ is being inaugurated as part of Helsinki Design Week. Designed by architects Maiju Suomi and Elina Koivisto, the Alusta Pavilion is located within the courtyard between the Helsinki Design Museum and the Museum of Finnish Architecture.
The installation comprises low-rise clay and wood structures, featuring shapes and perforations designed to act as a playground for bees and insects. ‘Many visitors have exclaimed that this is like a giant insect hotel,’ says Suomi, explaining how the project’s nickname came about. Visitors are invited to explore and interact with the garden, to have a seat on the clay walls, or to attend workshops and lectures on architecture and the climate emergency hosted in the grounds.
Projects drawing on Interspecies Architecture to tackle the shrinking populations of pollinators in urban areas are blooming. The Alusta Pavilion is a good example of design bringing people and nature closer, while endorsing an educational role and raising awareness on the impact of the climate crisis on biodiversity.
Design has a role to play in restoring and nurturing biodiversity. Integrating interspecies infrastructure elements can be a starting point to bolster the rewilding of urban spaces