Stockholm Insect Farm Wins Architectural Review Award at MIPIM Cannes Festival

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Belatchew Arkitekter has been awarded the Architectural Review MIPIM Future Project Award 2015 at the 26th edition of the MIPIM property event currently being held in Cannes, France, for the urban insect farm BuzzBuilding in the non-enterable category ‘Sustainability.’

Belatchew Arkitekter has been awarded the Architectural Review MIPIM Future Project Award 2015 at the 26th edition of the MIPIM property event currently being held in Cannes, France, for the urban insect farm BuzzBuilding in the non-enterable category ‘Sustainability.’

The Architectural Review MIPIM Future Project Awards has a strong focus on creativity, in order to showcase projects that are examples of fine architecture, but have also responded to the client’s development brief, and considered the way in which they will impact and contribute to the community around them.

The award judging panel praised this “bravura project” as “an example of how architecture can produce a built metaphor relating to the programme, in this case the creation of a facility to breed and harvest edible insects on the assumption that we need to find alternatives to animal protein.”

The CEO and Principal Architect of Belatchew Arkitekter, Rahel Belatchew Lerdell, is currently at MIPIM in Cannes in order to receive the award at a prize ceremony arranged by the Architectural Review.

"We are pleased that the Architectural Review and MIPIM highlight our BuzzBuilding project which addresses important questions for our time covering various aspects of the city," says Rahel Belatchew Lerdell, CEO, Belatchew Architects.

"It is particularly honoring to have been nominated in the non-enterable sustainability category, in which it is strictly reserved for the jury to select a winner among all projects," Rahel Belatchew Lerdell concludes.

BuzzBuilding has also been awarded the national Swedish Design S Award and the international innovation competition Smart Living Challenge award.

More info about BuzzBuilding, including high res images, the original press release, and infographics can be found here:


Rahel Belatchew Lerdell, CEO & Founder, phone +46 70 174 94 32, +46 8 55 80 14 14, pr(at)belatchew(dot)com


BuzzBuilding is part of the Belathew Labs’ project InsectCity, with the aim of making Stockholm self-sufficient in protein through urban insect production. In the year 2050 it is estimated that the Earth will be populated by 9 billion people, and a question that is raised is how a sustainable food-production that produces enough for everyone, without posing additional stress on the environment can be designed. A solution is to find an alternative to meat production, and one such protein source is insects. There are approximately 1900 edible species of insects, and 2 billion of the world’s population already eat insects today. Protein production from insects is much more efficient than meat production, for example, 10 kg fodder is needed to produce 1 kg of beef, but the same amount of fodder can produce 9 kg of insects.

In 2018 it is estimated that the city of Stockholm will have 940,700 inhabitants. In order to produce protein from insects corresponding to the inhabitants’ meat consumption about 500,000 m2 farmable surface is needed. By placing insect farms in nine roundabouts throughout Stockholm the goal of making Stockholm self-sufficient in protein can be obtained.

To illustrate what an urban insect production might look like, Belatchew Labs has developed the insect farm BuzzBuilding for cultivation of crickets, offering 10,350 m² of farmable surface. BuzzBuilding consists of a building that integrates the whole insect production flow, from the egg to the ready-to-eat insect. Additionally, BuzzBuilding is a safe haven for endangered wild bees, which, apart from ensuring endangered species of bees’ continued existence, also turns Stockholm into a blooming and fertile city.

The main structure is a steel exoskeleton, an outer skeleton, inspired by the structure of insects. On the ground floor there is a restaurant where insects are prepared and sold. The goal is to make the production public; in contrast to the hidden meat production it invites the public to observe and participate, and offers accessible knowledge about where our food comes from.


Belatchew Arkitekter is an architectural firm working within a wide range of projects, from urban planning and housing to offices and retail. The work of the office is idea driven with an aim to find unexpected solutions that enhance the potential of a site and add value to real estate. Belatchew Arkitekter follows the global development on sustainability and consider it our mission to integrate sustainable solutions in all our projects.

Belatchew Arkitekter has received several awards in recent years, including Sweden’s national design award Design S 2014, the international innovation award Smart Living Challenge, and Architect of the Year. Belatchew Arkitekter’s projects have been widely published in international press and in several books.

Rahel Belatchew Lerdell, MSA/SAR, DESA, founder of Belatchew Arkitekter, has a Master’s Degree in Architecture from Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris, and has worked as an architect in Paris, Luxemburg, Tokyo and Stockholm. Belatchew Lerdell lectures at Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris and at the School of Architecture at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Belatchew Lerdell is also a member of the editorial board of the magazine Trä (Wood) and a jury member of the prestigious Swedish architectural award Träpriset.


The Architectural Review is a monthly international architectural magazine. It has been published in London since 1896. Its articles cover the built environment – which includes landscape, building design, interior design and urbanism – as well as theory of these subjects.


MIPIM, the world’s leading property market, brings together the most influential players from all international property sectors - office, residential, retail, healthcare, sport, logistics and industrial, offering unrivalled access to the greatest number of development projects and sources of capital worldwide. The 26th edition is held in Cannes, France from 10-13 March 2015.

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