© Fieldwork Design and Architecture

Bee Thinking // FIELDWORK Design and Architecture

Portland, OR, United States

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Text description provided by the architects.

Bee Thinking, the world’s first beekeeping supplier specializing in foundationless beehives, is located in a 1,750 square foot building in SE Portland. Their beehives are designed in-house, crafted at their mill in Portland, Oregon using kiln dried Western Red Cedar from the Pacific Northwest, and made to be easily assembled by both a hobbyist or professional beekeeper.

© Fieldwork Design and Architecture

© Fieldwork Design and Architecture

Bee Thinking also provides educational services, including classes, seminars, guest speakers, and how-to workshops. The space plan was inspired by the study of a bee’s habitat and movement. Bees communicate through dance, the ‘Waggle Dance,’ which is a story communicated through a language of precise movement and physical cues. Upon entry, a customer is taken on a subtle journey starting with familiar bee products, such as honey, bee’s wax, and mead (with full tasting bar), to products that offer a deeper connection to beekeeping.

© Fieldwork Design and Architecture

© Fieldwork Design and Architecture

These include an educational section with books and learning tools, fully assembled beehives, protective equipment, and do-it-yourself kits. The material palette was inspired by a mason beehive, which is not the honeycomb so commonly associated with bees, but a tightly grouped series of patterned perforations in wood. The interior architectural volumes and custom fixtures are made of Western Red Cedar, in harmony with Bee Thinking’s custom built hives.

© Fieldwork Design and Architecture

© Fieldwork Design and Architecture

Left in a natural tone at key moments, the cedar was weathered with a gray stain at key merchandising areas to offset the amber color of the honey and bee’s wax candles. Bee Thinking’s foundation-less hives are pieces of art, and the design team opted to feature them as sculptures, worthy of study and consideration as not only tools, but profoundly beautiful objects with a noble purpose.

© Fieldwork Design and Architecture

© Fieldwork Design and Architecture

Fieldwork Design provided architectural and interior design services and also designed and fabricated the retail fixtures and custom light fixture in their workshop. Credits:- FWD// – Designer – Caleb Couch- FWD// – Partner/Interior Designer – Tonia Hein- FWD// – Designer/Fabricator – Jacob Schaeperkoetter-Cochran- FWD// – Partner/Architect – Tim Fouch- FWD// – Partner/Architect – Cornell Anderson- FWD// – Designer/Fabricator – Daniel Goers- FWD// – Designer/Fabricator – Phillip Evans- FWD// – Designer/Fabricator – Kyle Schmidt- FWD// – Designer/Fabricator – Paul Cooley.

Bee Thinking Gallery

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