Blur the Lines 12 Comvita Paengaroa Workplace

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Directors
    Danielle Barclay, Naomi Rushmer
  • Pou Taketake / Cultural Lead
    Maika Te Amo
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Jason Simmonds, Jackie Evans, Wetini Paul
  • Kaitautoko / Contributor
    Jigsaw Architects
  • Client
    Comvita Limited
Judge's comments:

Eye-catching beautiful use of colur through the space, infusing nature-inspired elements and honey tones, resulting in a harmonious fusion of history and innovation, exemplifying Comvita's journey from local origins to a dynamic global presence.



Comvita was founded in the Bay of Plenty in the 1970's where the brand's head office and production facility, once a local pub and shop, was established in the small settlement of Paengaroa.

Staff have worked remotely for the past 3 years in order to protect honey production throughout the pandemic which caused significant cultural challenges.

Comvita felt it was time to reimagine the office space to better reflect the ever changing and hybrid working style of their staff and attract them back into the office.


Our challenge was to transform a dated building with an interior that paid homage to the history of the brand whilst also reflecting the global company of today.

We wanted staff to feel inspired through a strong connection to nature and to challenge the traditional notion of an office.

Whilst a workplace project, we took a hospitality design approach and introduced material and tone inspired by nature and the warmth of honey.

We used an unexpected palette of cool greens and warm golden tones to create dramatic spaces that felt like home to the nature loving staff.

We transformed the spaces into flexible co-working zones with a central hospitality hub for connection between the buildings.


We took a multi sensory approach to colour and materials, taking inspiration from nature.

We committed to a bold scheme throughout of strong warm honey tones contrasted with the cooler green foliage shades. We also added warmth of timber, the terrazzo and terracotta of layered earth.

On arrival you are greeted with a warm wall of lit honey in lab vessels which creates an impactful focal point. In front is a 10 metre green upholstered bench seat with tables for perching with your laptop.

There are textured soft green tiles to welcome guests on the curved counter, warm leather sofas and chairs, and plush rugs to soften the lounging areas.

We worked with the existing concrete flooring and added a sage green stain to create some drama and unify the spaces. This was complemented with a combination of honey and green tone walls.

The playful terrazzo look tile in greens and honey drops is featured throughout in splashbacks and bathrooms.

The natural toned scheme continues in the large lunchroom space with the stained concrete floor throughout, two tone green kitchen cabinetry and matching benchtop and seating zones.

Throughout both spaces greenery was key, a large indoor tree as well as numerous pots added a much needed authentic connection to nature.


We were creative with our colour scheme inspired by nature and the warmth of the hive.

Careful curation of memorabilia and artwork tied the interior together and evoked an emotional response and a sense of pride.

Wall cladding of bee hives held sentimental value, so we briefed artist Claudia Aalderink to repurpose these to create a new contemporary artwork.

New photography from Comvita’s regenerated forest was commissioned to bring a contemporary edge to the space used in frames and as a large wall mural.