altherr/weiss repurposes beehives to create honey experience in switzerland

altherr/weiss repurposes beehives to create honey experience in switzerland

altherr/weiss collaborates with beer brewery kornhausbräu from rorschach, switzerland that specializes in brewing honey beer using organic honey. the swiss multidisciplinary studio created an immersive experience, putting emphasis not only on the beer itself, but on the subject of honey and bees that are essential in maintaining ecosystems.

the entire studio space of altherr/weiss transforms in to a multi-sensory installation reminiscent of the natural beehive



after conducting a thorough research in the situation of bees, the different species, and the secrets of beekeeping, the designers discovered a small factory and a specialist shop for beekeepers in the east of switzerland. in the shop the natural beeswax, a leftover from honey production, is converted into small sheets then used in the beehive wooden frames as base for honeycombs. the designers saw potential in the beeswax sheets to create spatial elements. 

a wave of honey smell welcomes the visitors



altherr/weiss along with imkerhof, experimented with the production of the material and developed wax sheets of 70cm x 200cm. this warm and self-adhesive substance is surprisingly strong and pleasant to work with due to its aroma and tactile qualities. it proved to be the ideal material to create the honey experience. with just a simple set of tools – a craft knife, a hairdryer and a block of wood wrapped in baking paper – the designers shaped the wax sheets to create the installation.

130 square meters of natural beeswax were used to upholster 18 giant honeycombs



usually temporary installations generate a lot of material waste, yet this design uses the materials efficiently – all the wax and the offcuts are carefully gathered and in the end, will be returned to the beekeepers to be used in the hives once again. the entire studio space of altherr/weiss at lagerstrasse 102, transformed in to a multisensory installation reminiscent of the natural bees nest.

the structures are fitted with neon tubes of candle light color, as in the past due to the lack of electricity, the bees were kept more for production of wax candles than for honey



the smell of honey and difused candlelight accompany the culinary experience of beer or honey tastings. 130 square meters of natural beeswax was used to upholster the 18 giant honeycombs that hang from the ceiling. the elements are fitted with warm, yellow neon tubes, just like the bees were kept in the past. as visitors enter, they are welcome by a wave of honey smell and candlelight hues lighting up the honey experience.

this warm and self-adhesive material is surprisingly strong and soft to the touch


the sustainable design allows for wax and extra material to be returned to the beekeepers to reuse in future hives

the smell of honey and difused candlelight accompany the culinary experience of beer or honey tastings

set of tools used for the installation’s construction – a craft knife, a hairdryer and a block of wood wrapped in baking paper

structural rod is flexible enough to create a parabola shape characteristic for natural honeycombs

18 beeswax panels were hung in the ever-changing altherr/weiss studio

the concept was developed through a thorough research in the situation of bees, their different species, and the secrets of beekeeping.

3d model of the installation in paper.



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: cristina gomez | designboom

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