The Beehive is a name synonymous with Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. The building derived its common name because of its distinctive shape – with its circular layered structure and elegant curves, it is reminiscent of a traditional woven form of a beehive.
The Beehive is in fact the Executive Wing of New Zealand’s Parliamentary complex and houses the Prime Minister’s and Cabinet Members’ offices. It is also where the Cabinet meets. One can only imagine the buzzing of parliament proceedings when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern takes the stand to address the nation.
Standing at 72 metres tall, the Beehive is 10 floors above ground and has four floors below. It was built in stages between 1969 to 1979. The Beehive was initially conceptualised in 1964 by Scottish architect Sir Basil Spence, but faced some criticism for its unconventional design. Decades later, the Beehive is now a registered Category I heritage building by Heritage New Zealand and is even featured on the New Zealand twenty-dollar note.
The parliament precinct is in its early days of bidding to have the Beehive listed as New Zealand’s fourth UNESCO heritage site – alongside Tongariro National Park, Te Wahipounamu in the South Island, and the Sub-Antarctic Islands. After many years of serving as a worthy place for the nation’s leaders to congregate, the Beehive could now be close to being inaugurated as a UNESCO heritage site.
Bring the stately architecture to life by adding your own colours to it. Download the printable colouring page of the Beehive here!