Because I grew up in early 90′s, I am afraid of bees. If you remember way back then, there were documentaries that mapped out how aggressive and unstoppable bee species would migrate further and further north as they evolved, killing humans directly or just trapping us inside until we ran out of food and resorted to cannibalism. Movies like My Girl and Deadly Invasion didn’t help. We didn’t have to worry about the economy, so we could worry about the demonic bees swarming en masse to kill us.
The emergence of Colony Collapse Disorder changed things; hives turned out to be fragile and important in ways I hadn’t understood. Now when I read about a Hungarian library with a “beehive” inside of it, I can’t help but wish it weren’t an analogy. But even as analogy it makes sense and is helping this project designed by Török és Balázs Építészeti. To be clear, the beehive in this project is the bulbous dome so evident in the entry sequence, interior and section. The tile that lines the interior of the dome is stunning, laid out in a colorful pattern that surrounded visitors as they enter the Library and Learning Center. Inside the project, the outside surface of the dome is painted white, bouncing light from a skylight down to the reading patrons, and offering tiny peepholes into the colorful, tiled interior.
When I think of vibrant libraries, I think of ones buzzing with information. What architecture gesture could be more overt than building a giant, abstract beehive to signal this attitude? I’m still scared of bees, so this lovely beehive is much preferred.