Almost a year ago, the University at Buffalo’s Joyce Hwang installed this twisted bat house at Griffis Sculpture Park in Southwestern New York state. Bat Tower stands about 12 feet tall, with walls of finished plywood panels arranged in a ribbed, accordion-like pattern. The conspicuous design, unusual for a bat house, serves a purpose: Hwang, an assistant professor of architecture, hoped Bat Tower would draw attention to bats and white-nose syndrome, a deadly affliction that has reportedly killed more than 1 million bats in recent years, striking the mammals as they hibernate.
“It has survived one (typically extreme) Western New York winter, and is still holding up very well. The weathering is giving it an interesting look,” says Hwang of the Bat Tower’s first year. “I do think that its public presence has helped bring more attention to bats in general. I have heard from the park manager that schoolchildren who visit the project become fascinated with bats, not having realized that they are actually helpful creatures. So its visibility and the increasing publicity of the project is helping the ’cause.’” Learn more about this amazing project here.