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A refuge for insects and arachnids integrated into the landscape

Insectarium for the promotion and dissemination of fauna.

Hotel d’insectes
Hotel d’insectes

Insect hotel

The insect hotel is an artificial refuge and hibernation place for insects and arachnids made from natural materials. It is a project that allows close observation of nature while improving the quality and biodiversity of the parks.

Authors

Batlleiroig Arquitectura. Enric Batlle Durany, Joan Roig i Duran, Iván Sánchez Fabra – Architect

Team

Clàudia Amías Roget, Joan Batlle Blay – Architect and landscape architect / Dolors Feu – Agricultural engineer and landscape architect

Project status

Built

Start date

2018

Finish date

2018

Total area

2 m2

Awards

WAF 2017 – Hotel Insectes, XV Bienal Española de Arquitectura y Urbanismo – Hotel Insectes
The insect hotel is integrated into urban parks as part of a strategy to reinforce the biodiversity of the place. / © Jordi Surroca

IMPROVING THE BIODIVERSITY OF PARKS

The insect hotel is made up of a divided structure of several sections with nesting facilities, where vulnerable species (such as the solitary bee) can settle to develop and reproduce in a quiet and protected space.

It is a practical and economic measure to help the conservation of insects in danger of extinction due to the practice of agriculture and deforestation. Many of these species play a prominent role in the ecosystem due to their pollinating function or because they are predators of harmful parasites.

An insect hotel encourages the biodiversity of space, thereby improving the overall quality and health of the space while reducing the need for pesticides. Butterflies, bees, dragonflies, and other small creatures are beneficial to plants. The presence of daytime butterflies works as an indication of the park’s well-being.

In addition, this is a great pedagogical tool as it allows children and adults to closely observe the life cycle of some creatures that are difficult to find in nature, making it an ideal attraction for an urban park. It also makes it possible to collect data on some little-known species for scientific purposes.

© Stupendastic

FOUR STRATUS FOR VARIOUS TYPES OF INSECTS

Stone, clay, wood and plant remains are superimposed in several layers to host a heterogeneous population of insects.

LEVEL 1: STONE

Spiders, beetles, bees, fireflies, tapeworms, crickets, grasshoppers, praying mantis.

LEVEL 2: CERAMIC (low-density ceramic block)

Solitary bees: perforated ceramic brick filled with a mixture of soil and hay.

LEVEL 3: WOOD (Drilled pine logs)

Solitary bees (Osmia, Anthidium sp., Halíctids and Odynerus): trunks perforated between 2 mm and 10 mm and bamboo poles. Beetle, centipede, and larva: deadwood.

LEVEL 4: PINE CONES

Spiders, ants, beetles: dried pine cones. Beetles, centipedes and wasps, butterflies and flies: blackberry stems, rose bushes, raspberries, and elderflower.

The insect hotel is a sophisticated and scientific element of the landscape integrated into the park, which relates to multiple disciplines and techniques. Clàudia Amías RogetLandscape architect, Architect / Landscape / Senior Project Director

A GLOBAL STRATEGY

The objective of the Insect Hotel is to provide an artificial habitat to those animals that, due to the anthropization of the landscape, have difficulty finding it. To attract insects to the hotel, a strategy has been developed to provide food, water, and accommodation.

FOOD. The insect hotel is ecologically connected with large plant masses of native species that ensure flowering throughout the year. Each plant species has been selected to attract a specific species of insect.

WATER. The lamination, retention, and infiltration of water in the landscape is necessary for all ecological processes, especially for the insect ecosystem. The improvement of drainage within the park, using sustainable drainage systems (SUDS), has favored infiltration in the land, reducing the contribution of water to the sanitation system.

BEDROOM. An insect hotel is a refuge and artificial hibernation place for insects, created with natural materials. They consist of a structure divided into strata for different types of nesting.

A DESIGN IN DETAIL USING LOCAL MATERIALS

To carry out this project, a very meticulous study was made of the needs of each indigenous insect that wanted to stay in the hotel.

The plant species planted in the park were chosen to attract pollinating insects. The interior materials of the bedroom were studied to attract these same insects and were collected from the environment.

The gravel comes from a local quarry, the straw from nearby fields, the mud from the work itself, the pine trunks from the forest management of the same municipality, the cane from the cleaning of the Torrent Vallmora stream, bordering the park, and the pinecones and pine needles, from the reforestation, carried out to the first phase.

Bedroom design meets the two basic requirements of any insect hotel: registration and shelter. The mesh forming a prism allows one of its faces to be accessible without having to disassemble the entire bedroom. This feature allows for the maintenance of organic materials as easily as possible. In addition, it allows to place a cover integrated into the design that guarantees that the new bedroom is ventilated and dry; basic characteristics to attract insects.

A STRATEGY WITH MULTIPLE SUCCESS STORIES

The first prototype of the insect hotel was developed in the Vallmora park, in El Masnou. Subsequently, it has been successfully applied in three other parks designed by batlleiroig: in the Finestrelles park in Esplugues de Llobregat, in the La Remonta park in Santander, and in the pedestrian connection between Oristà de Barcelona and Bosc de Montcada i Reixac.

News

REPORTATGE DE L’HOTEL D’INSECTES DE BATLLEIROIG AL SUPLEMENT ‘FUERA DE SERIE’ DE ‘EL MUNDO’ I ‘EXPANSIÓN’

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REPORTATGE DE L’HOTEL D’INSECTES DE BATLLEIROIG AL SUPLEMENT ‘FUERA DE SERIE’ DE ‘EL MUNDO’ I ‘EXPANSIÓN’
News

L’Insects Hotel, ‘Highly Commended’ al WAF 2017

Read more
L’Insects Hotel, ‘Highly Commended’ al WAF 2017