Habitat by Honestbee
Habitat by Honestbee is one of the world’s first few examples of a technology-integrated shopping, dining and social experience. It was designed as a physical and experiential extension to Honestbee’s online grocery shopping app. Located in an existing warehouse in Singapore, the experience begins with the customer walking through a dim corridor with seasonal window displays on both sides. This leads into the reception space and the greeting of the colours and scents of the florist.
From there, the space expands into an open retail and dining space with a ten-metre-high ceiling conceived as an open-air market. Multiple components like groceries, cafes, bookshop, event spaces and other dining concepts laid out along meandering paths to create adjacencies between the different sections, and to allow for unexpected discoveries for the customer.
Retail shelves are low so one can see through the whole retail floor, which aids orientation and adds to the sense of openness. Multiple customer touch-points and sensorial engagements were created to allow new experiences to be found during every visit. An elevated conveyor belt runs through the space, serving the online grocery orders. Automatic checkout and collection points, and online ordering/shopping systems, were designed as part of the overall customer experience to eliminate queues and create a seamless and fuss-free shopping experience.
The material palette is relatively simple, consisting of wood, cement, and grey and cream terrazzo tiles with a sprinkling of colours. All these elements are set against a backdrop of daylight and lush greenery, making the experience more pleasant and enticing customers to linger and hang out. This project demonstrates that a technology-focused experience does not necessarily mean the analogue and human parts of the experience take a back seat. The tactile and the virtual are woven together to create an experience that is beyond consumption – one that is more about creating community.
Photography: Jovian Lim.