Design a House, Build a Community! This is an Open, One-stage, Design-Build competition in which entrants are asked to deliver a functional, contemporary pollinator house to be auctioned off to support both GBN and BAF’s programs.

For the 25th anniversary of Garden Walk Buffalo, Gardens Buffalo Niagara and the Buffalo Architecture Foundation are coming together to organize and facilitate a design/build competition of Pollinator Houses. The spirit of the competition seeks to bring awareness to the wide array of pollinators in Western New York. This competition aspires to generate awareness of pollinators of all types and challenge the notion of how these Pollinator Houses can or should look. The competition also encourages all to participate by becoming designers and advocates for these critical animal partners.

Pollinators have been increasingly threatened through the 20th and into the 21st century with the heavy use of pesticides, invasive species, disease and parasites, and loss of habitat. Specific issues such as colony collapse (bees), white nose syndrome (bats), climate change (all pollinators) have led to the severe population loss of many pollinators, across the region, country and world. Pollinators in Western New York include: native bees, butterflies, bats, birds, and other insects.

These animals are important because so much of our food and plants depend on these them in order to reproduce. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, up to 75 percent of the world’s food crops are dependent in some way on pollinators to reproduce.

With pollinator numbers in decline, having a pollinator house in the garden can help solitary-nesters by providing them a cozy home to live in and raise their young. Pollinators need large areas of habit to flourish– the more that can be done to protect and conserve native habitats, the more space these tiny environmental champions will have to do their important work. By providing habitat for pollinators to dwell, as well as planting a plethora of native flowering vegetation, providing a clean water and mud source, and limiting pesticide use, we can do a great deal to help out with the plight of pollinators.

The conclusion of the competition will result in an auction of all submissions to support both GBN and BAF’s programs. Each entry should address the needs of its target animal while simultaneously addressing the basic demands of an outdoor enclosure. A commercially available, pre-fabricated pollinator house that has been artistically decorated with high quality illustrations is desirable, but entrants are challenged and encouraged to submit, creative and innovative designs that provide a form defying convention.

Basic Expectations:
-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)

Heighten Expectations:
-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

A Pollinator House, serving a pollinator identified by the entrant and a brief design narrative (250 words or less). For logistical purposes, the house in its “moveable” form cannot be larger than 12” x 12” x 12”.

Entrants will be responsible for all design, fabrication and delivery of each entry. Multiple entries are encouraged; however, separate entry forms must be submitted for each entry.

Free and Open to all!

Climate conscious architects, designers, gardeners, sculptors, carpenters, students, etc. are encouraged to participate, however all entrants must possess a competent level of construction quality to ensure the successful execution of the Pollinator House.

Entrants are not required to be residents of New York State nor the United States, however, because this is a design-build competition, it is expected that entrants be capable of delivering (personally or by package post) the finished product to the drop off site at their own cost.

Entry Process
Final and constructed Pollinator House entries will be accepted starting at the release of this brief, through May 15, 2019. A final drop-off location in Buffalo, New York will be announced in a subsequent press releases, closer to the final delivery acceptance date. Any submissions desired to be delivered prior to announce of a final location can contact [email protected] to coordinate a drop off. No entry fee is required.

Selection Criteria
Entrants are encouraged to take wide latitude in determining the form, function and style of their design(s). To ensure dedication to the BAF and GBN’s competition intent, all designs will be judged on the following criteria:
-Overall design execution
-Suitability for pollinator

A jury of esteemed representatives from Western New York architectural and gardening community will be reviewing all submissions for design quality, ingenuity, creativity, sustainability, and execution. Awards recognizing minimally the following categories will be given:
-Best overall entry
-Most likely to attract a pollinator
-Best student entry (K-12)

Possibility of Replication
Although not certain or guaranteed, it is desired to select one or more designs for replication to commemorate Garden Walk Buffalo’s 25th anniversary. The Competition Committee will contact entrants for possible fabrication refinements if the design is selected.

Go to the competition’s website