Comvita Wellness Lab

  • 2021

  • Architectural
    Interior Design

Designed By:

  • Danielle Barclay, Creative Director
  • Naomi Rushmer, Interior Architect
  • Craig McKay, Creative Technologist
  • Nina Miranti, Interior Designer
  • Jon Baxter, Film Director

Commissioned By:

David Banfield, Comvita CEO

David Bathgate, Comvita Global Head of Marketing

Designed In:

New Zealand

Bees are under threat and our existence depends on them. Comvita Wellness Lab in Auckland is a multisensory experience designed to get people to fall in love with bees again. Everything is designed to pay homage to the incredible nature of bees and their ability to nurture and protect us.

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Image: Kieran E Scott
Image: Kieran E Scott
Image: Kieran E Scott
Image: Kieran E Scott
Image: Kieran E Scott
Image: Kieran E Scott
Image: Kieran E Scott
Image: Kieran E Scott
  • MORE
  • Comvita, a leading global honey company, is on a mission to create a world where bees can thrive. They wanted to create a unique retail experience to reach a broad audience, sharing their brand story and passion for preserving nature as well as educating people on the important role bees play. The objective was to immersive people in the world of bees and honey in a unique and memorable way to shine a light on the problem of bee colony decline. After prototyping in Auckland the plan is the take the experience to other global markets.

  • Our idea was to create a bee chapel and get people to fall in love with bees again. Comvita Wellness Lab, is a multi sensory, physical and virtual tribute to bees that embraces the sensory nature of honey and the hive. The design represents the natural environment and the science Comvita use to understand its mysteries. We curated the work of NZ's best artisans and the natural materials they create with to further enhance the connection and story. A beekeeper hosts a honey tasting where visitors are taken on an immersive journey with soundscape composed from the sounds of bees.

  • The Comvita Wellness Lab project aligns to a much bigger mission for the brand, to create a world where bees can thrive. Bees play a critical role in pollinating 90% of the worlds food producing plants and trees but colonies are in decline. By creating a unique and educational experience hosted by a beekeeper we hope to create a tribe of bee lovers and shine a light on the problem globally. The theatre space is also being utilised for school group sessions to teach children about bees and beekeeping and community groups are being invited to collaborate on future events.

  • The connection to bees is immediate with a large scale mesh ceiling feature mimicking a natural hive. Textures and colours were carefully selected to communicate Comvita's passion for bees and nature and their commitment to preserving their home Aotearoa. 150 year old submerged native river wood was recovered and crafted into the main welcome bench and flooring. Custom scents were designed to be experienced in conjunction with a digital beehive and the sounds of bees. Custom handblown glass vessels were created to hold the precious scents of Manuka, Propolis and Honey. No packaged product is displayed, instead we showcased raw ingredients of the hive alongside a variety of honey in lab vessels. The experience room has a pure chalk white interior as a dramatic backdrop for the honey vessels and custom designed theatre chairs. The undulating ceiling houses projectors, lighting and heating to trigger during the show. A high gloss floor transforms through reflection from the projection. The project was both physical and virtual and aimed to challenge traditional retail with a focus on immersive experience. The lab extends beyond four walls with an AR forest and a 3D virtual lab to explore and shop online.