Excerpt: Hostivar Apiary is an installation designed by the firm HAMR Hut Architektury Martin Rajnis. What the firm designed then for the apiary was an elevated cupola of wooden slats with an octagonal ground plan, not unlike the cupola above the church of Santa Maria Del Fiore in Florence.
[Text as submitted by Architect] The Apiary as a Landscape Focal Point
In November 2021, we completed the construction of an apiary located in the Galerie Golf Hostivař complex. It stands on a slight elevation near the entrance to the golf course, forming a beautiful view from the restaurant terrace. There lies behind this small-scale work is a highly symbolic tale.
In 2014, we were contacted by ladies from the “Hradčany Bees” association, who needed someone to design and construct an apiary in the Petřín Gardens. The bees deserve our help!
What we designed then for the apiary was an elevated cupola of wooden slats with an octagonal ground plan, not unlike the cupola above the church of Santa Maria Del Fiore in Florence. After many alterations, the project even won the approval of the heritage authorities, who supported its construction (as altered) on the site in the Petřín Gardens.
As it happened, though, the realization involved certain political complications. Thus, despite the utmost efforts, it has yet to be raised.
Three years later, we were asked by the then director of the Czech Cultural Centre in Israel, Lukáš Přibyl, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovakia’s founding and the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel by designing and building a tower in Jerusalem. For this, we took inspiration from the shape of our apiary. Significant design changes led to the construction of the tower Ester, which now stands proudly in the gardens of Hansen House, only a kilometre and a half from the Wailing Wall.
Then came spring 2021, and an investor meeting was held in our office to discuss one of our projects. Suddenly, the owner of the Hostivař golf course, Martin Kulík, noticed the visualization of the original version of the apiary hanging on the wall. Love at first sight! Our chief constructor and master builder Zbyněk Šrůtek – the same Zbyněk Šrůtek who led his carpenters in building the Ester tower in Jerusalem – turned on his tools only a few months after this meeting.
Yet even before we had the apiary completed, there turned up at our studio the organizers of the exhibition Czech Modern Architecture from Secessionism to Today, headed by Professor Vladimír Šlapeta and Petr Ivanov. The exhibition was to open in the Prague Castle Riding School in autumn 2021. Their question for us was: “Do you have any models that would be used for such a prestigious exhibit?” We did! Our apiary, on a 1:1 scale, was just then under production! The expansive and high-ceilinged space of the Riding School allowed the apiary – the first exhibition item past the entrance – to stand out fittingly. We believed that, at least indirectly, it could transmit the scent of Jerusalem and its sister Ester.
Then, in November 2021, the apiary was moved from the Riding School to Hostivař, which now stands proudly above the landscape. This slender work should remind us that architecture sometimes faces its hardships and the path to the goal often runs along unpredicted and winding routes. Let it now be a celebration of those whose work, efforts, courage, and, no less significantly, money push things forward. All these made possible not only the construction of the apiary, including its brief detour through Prague Castle but also the existence of the Ester tower. And no less, let the Hostivař apiary recall those who arrived with the first impulse – the apiary in Petřín. For now, this one still awaits its patron, yet we are firmly convinced that it too shall soon see the light of day. Of course, it will not be the same as the one in Hostivař. It will be different. But even this is a significant part of the broader story that has culminated on the Hostivař golf course today.