Could there be a better time to announce a pollinator house design-build competition? As pollinators face more and more hardships, the Buffalo Architecture Foundation (BAF) and Gardens Buffalo Niagara (GBN) have announced that they are teaming up to host the 2019 Pollinator House Design-Build Competition. The competition was dreamed up as a way to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Garden Walk Buffalo (GWB).
Anyone interested in creating a “functional, contemporary pollinator house” can do so by simply visiting this site, which provides all of the details on how to get started. Once built, the pollinator houses will be showcased at the Garden Walk, before being auctioned off to support GBN and BAF programs.
“The spirit of this competition is to encourage aspiring and professional designers alike to rethink what habitats could look like and to create awareness for the challenges these animals face,” says BAF’s President, Courtney Creenan-Chorley. “The intent is to have creative, clever and inspirational results.”
Not only should the pollinator houses be designed in a functional manner, they should also keep in mind a higher sense of design. Must a bird house look like a traditional bird house? Then again, there are certain inherent design features that are appealing to various birds. In the end, fantastical design must also be functional, or the premise of the competition is lost.
This competition is a valuable exercise in rethinking ways that we can help the pollinators to find stable habitats, that will help them to overcome adversities that include pesticides, invasive species, disease and parasites, and loss of habitat. Don’t forget – there are many different pollinators out there, including bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, moths, beetles, and bats!
- Reasonably shelter the selected pollinator
- Provide adequate space for the selected pollinator to occupy the house
- Provide creative and visually pleasing entry
- Reasonable installation requirements are accounted for
- Accommodate a combined GBN and BAF logo (available for download)
- Unique fabrication methods and/or material choices
- Distinctive architectural style or design
- Use of recycled and/or sustainable materials
- Inspire design appreciation and pollinator awareness
All designs will be judged on the following criteria:
- Overall design execution
- Suitability for pollinator
Awards recognizing minimally the following categories will be given:
- Best overall entry
- Most likely to attract a pollinator
- Best student entry (K-12)
The competition, which is free and open to all, will accept submissions starting February 1st through May 15th, 2019. A jury of esteemed representatives from the Western New York architectural and gardening community will review all submissions for design quality, ingenuity, creativity, sustainability, and execution.
Additional contest details and rules can be found online at BAF’s website.
Images courtesy Buffalo Architecture Foundation