Beyond the Hive 2010

Beyond the Hive is sponsored by The City of London Corporation and British Land. The competition, designed to encourage biodiversity in the City of London, asked entrants to design a five star hotel for insects. The designs were whittled down to a shortlist of five hotels, which will be built in public gardens in the City. Among the finalists are: Arup and Pinnacle Tower-builder Brookfield, the German Women’s Property Group, Fisher Tomlin, and Ortlos/Metalanguage. As a finalist the Ortlos/Metalanguage hotel – InnVertebrate – has been selected to sit in Bunhill Fields. The other sites include: Postman’s Park, West Smithfield, St Dunstan’s in the East and Cleary Garden.

Ortlos / Metalanguage

ORTLOS Space Engineering ( is an immersive spaces design studio, which is developing innovative environments as a new channel for engaging with communities, reaching end-users, and build spatial experiences. Our main design competence is translating 21 century technologies into spatial systems and strategies — packing the ideas and visions into architecture. Their work has been published and exhibited worldwide, including at the Venice Biennale in 2000. They are currently teaching at Graz University of Technology, Bartlett University College London, and lecture around the world.

Metalanguage Design is a graphic design company based in London, whose clients include London Wildlife Trust, Natural England and London Biodiversity Partnership. Their work and interest within the field of conservation has enabled them to build considerable knowledge of urban wildlife habitats.

The Ortlos/Metalanguage collaboration brings together architectural disciplines and the creation of sustainable habitats.

What is an insect hotel?

Insect hotels are multi-story habitats with lots of different-sized cavities which will easily accommodate a wide variety of invertebrates. Cavities are filled with a variety of materials such as stones, earth, sticks etc to provide habitats for insects such as beetles, woodlice, lacewings and solitary bees. Insect hotels are being increasingly used in urban areas to attract species and are perfect for gardens and small outside spaces.

Bunhill Fields

Bunhill Fields is one of the most celebrated Nonconformist burial grounds in England and is a designated Grade II listed site. It is the last resting place for an estimated 120,000 bodies, including three of Britain’s most eminent Nonconformists – William Blake, John Bunyan and Daniel Defoe. It has been managed as a public open space by the City of London since 1867 and provides a valuable oasis of greenery in a highly urban area. It contains grassland and shrubbery along with fine mature trees which harbour birds and bats. Its value for biodiversity is indicated by its designation as a Site of Borough Importance for Nature Conservation. Bunhill Fields holds a Green Flag Award which is the benchmark national standard for parks and green spaces in the United Kingdom.

Our insect hotel will sit alongside the main walkway through the cemetery. An interpretation board will be erected as part of an overall London Historic interpretation walk which will link in with the other insect hotels installed in parks around the City of London. Bunhill Fields will also be taking part in Britain in Bloom run by the Royal Horticultural Society.


Be part of the buzz and sponsor an exciting project to encourage biodiversity in London

The ‘Beyond the Hive’ competition, run by The City of London Corporation and British Land, asked entrants to design a five star hotel for insects to encourage biodiversity in the City of London. As one of five finalists, the Ortlos/ Metalanguage hotel – InnVertebrate – has been selected to sit in Bunhill Fields Cemetery in Old Street.

We are inviting you to invest in the development and growth of biodiversity by sponsoring the build of an innovative and exciting project by sponsoring one of our exclusive and sought after insect suites with outstanding views of the main walkway through the cemetery. This will be a permanent installation within the Bunhill Fields Cemetery and will be part of a high profile London-wide biodiversity interpretation project overseen by the City of London.

Our Sponsors:

Christine and Bertran Conrad-Eybesfeld, Austria

Gebrüder Weiss GmbH – Transport & Logistics, Austria (link)

Plants donated by: London Wildlife Trust

Seeds donated by: Bumblebee Conservation Trust

There are several options to donate:

The Comb Tier – A fabulous set of boutique rooms exclusively furnished for the discerning insect about town.

The Upper Tier – A series of homely single rooms for the more airborne of our guests.

The Lower Tier – A series of sumptuous single rooms for our more ground living guests.

In return, you will have your logo featured on the interpretation board displayed to the side of the Innvertebrate site; a great way to advertise your business in an alternative community based manner.

The Comb Tier

The Terracotta Suite – perfect accommodation for beetles and spiders.

The Bamboo Suite – ideal for nesting solitary bees, such as the Leafcutter and Carpenter bee.

The Brick Suite – ideal for nesting Masonry bees, and provides nooks and crannies for spiders.

The Log Suite – ideal for ladybirds and stag beetles.

The Upper Tier

The Cardboard Rooms – essential for hibernating lacewings.

The Straw Rooms – great for attracting ladybirds and beetles.

The Unfurnished Rooms – kept empty for hibernating butterflies.

The Lower Tier

The Cardboard Combs – essential for hibernating lacewings.

The Straw Combs – providing a lovely habitat for ladybirds.

The Moss Combs – perfect for a wide variety of beetles.

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