Mines officially announced the completion of Phase I of the new “residence hive” last Friday. The futuristic living structure will be conveniently located between Green Center and the CTLM and is expected to drastically increase the number of students that can live on-campus. In addition, since it will be encased in thick concrete and housed underground, the earth will provide natural insulation to the living units inside, reducing the need for heating and cooling systems. Project leaders hope the structure will serve as a symbol of the Colorado School of Mines’s commitment to innovation and conservation.
Beyond that, as hive project head Brian Govern said, “It’ll also look really, really awesome.” The design of the residence hive is a fusion of actual beehives and the capsule hotels popular in Japan. The hive will feature over 900 hexagonal sleeping units, or “cells.” Each cell will contain a bed, embedded light, wired internet access, an assortment of accessories such as shelves, and will have an 8-foot ceiling.
The pit containing the living units will plunge about 100 feet into the ground, allowing students quick access to basement four of Chauvenet Hall. The sleeping units will line the walls of the pit, with catwalks to a large central hub containing bathrooms, laundry areas, greenhouses, and a playground. The playground will also provide quick access to the lower areas of the hive via a large spiral slide.
Cells in the hive will be offered to students at a monthly rate of $400 – plus a mandatory meal plan – with up to two residents allowed per cell. In an uncharacteristic move, upperclassmen will be allowed priority over freshmen. The waiting list has already been started, though Govern cautioned that the project may go past its expected completion date due to the custom solar panels that will be mounted on the hub. “To put it bluntly,” Govern said, “we require more minerals before we can go forward with the panels. But hey, that’s the price we pay for cutting-edge design – and to think we were originally planning to put a boring old petroleum engineering building there! Good thing our reputation for innovation is more than just talk.”