How to Make a Habitat for Urban Wildlife With Bee Houses, Birdhouses, Insect Hotels, and Planter Boxes

January 4, 2014 by

modular-brick-habitat-for-urban-wildlife-and-urban-biodiversity

Here’s an idea I love that’s at the intersection of urbanization, design, and nature.

modular-brick-habitats-for-urban-wildlife-and-urban-biodiversity

Brike is series of modular bricks that together serve as a habitat for urban wildlife. The collection includes bee houses, birdhouses, insect hotels, and planters that work in harmony to transform a building’s lifeless facade into an urban micro-ecosystem.
modular-brick-birdhouse-habitat-for-urban-wildlife-and-biodiversity

An empty exterior wall becomes a cooperative vertical garden space to provide the food, water, shelter, and safety needed to attract and support local urban wildlife.

Turning an Empty Surface Into an Urban Micro-Ecosystem
The brainchild of French architects Pierrick Taillard and Christine Cordelette of the design agency PiKs, the variously shaped bricks mount on to a building’s facade, blending in seamlessly to form a sustainable urban habitat for the birds, orchard mason bees, and insects essential for urban biodiverstiy.

modular-brick-bee-house-habitat-for-urban-wildlife-and-urban-biodiversity
brick-insect-hotel-habitat-for-urban-wildlife-and-biodiversity

Apart from the obvious environmental benefits, what do I love most? Brike is like a blueprint for a highrise whose tenants are urban wildlife. I’m smitten by the endless design possibilities for configuring an entire sustainable metropolis on a single barren facade. 

brick-birdhouse-habitat-for-urban-wildlife-and-biodiversity

Made from natural ingredients like white clay, kaolin, green clay, sand, and water, the bricks contain nothing toxic to humans, wildlife, or the environment.

modular-bricks-birdhouse-habitat-for-urban-wildlife-and-biodiversity

Vertical Living for Urban Wildlife
Each component is designed to provide a home for a number of species and promote the natural cycle of pollination and safe pest control. Bricks with holes offer refuge for orchard mason bees. Birdhouses create shelters for fine feathered friends, and one even has an awning. Bug hotels that resemble city condos become residences for beneficial insects. And local urban flora can blossom in brick flower boxes.

brick-planter-flower-box-habitat-for-urban-wildlife-encourages-biodiversity

I’m not exactly sure how one irrigates and maintains the bricks if they are installed high off the ground. I guess installing some drip irrigation could work. And a tall ladder.

 All images via PiKs.

20 Comments »

  1. Deirdre Eilis said:

    Where can I buy these?

    — January 5, 2014 @ 16:03

  2. Rich said:

    Not the correct bee depicted. Silly people.

    — January 5, 2014 @ 18:07

  3. Marco said:

    Not sure how these will hold up in freezing climates might be better suited for retaining walls

    — January 6, 2014 @ 01:22

  4. LazyGardenerNY said:

    I’m with Marco. Doesn’t sound workable in our northeast winters.

    — January 6, 2014 @ 22:25

  5. James Paulson said:

    Great stuff! So innovative and I bet the birdies love it!

    — January 8, 2014 @ 14:15

  6. Robin Horton said:

    You may be right Catherine. I like to share concepts, especially when they drive conversation and debate. Gets people thinking about things and ya never know what it will generate.

    — January 10, 2014 @ 10:40

  7. Robin Horton said:

    I’d like to know that myself, Marco. I know many roof tiles are made of the same material , and they hold up in freezing climates. Guess they’d need to be tested.

    — January 10, 2014 @ 10:41

  8. Tatiana Lisseth said:

    This is ever so lovely!
    Thanks for sharing.

    — January 11, 2014 @ 05:06

  9. 10 Pinterest Indoor and Outdoor Garden Finds Pingback said:

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    — February 4, 2014 @ 04:15

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  13. Cedar said:

    I noticed the wrong bee as well… and beyond the gardening outside in a tiny brick thought.. wouldnt the birhouses and mason bee bricks be to small to actually raise either young birds or female mason bees? they would also be a pain to clean out when either was full as well right? Only being critical. its a grand way to start reversing everything we have taken away. beautiful designs!! 🙂 Just wish the designer knew a little more about who he was designing for…

    — January 16, 2015 @ 20:30

  14. Robin Horton said:

    Thank you for your feeback Cedar. I really am not a bee expert, but you have me intrigued and I would like to learn more about this. I can post back when I learn more in response to your comment.

    — January 17, 2015 @ 13:24

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  18. Carolina Nadel said:

    love it!

    — July 5, 2017 @ 12:28

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