Organic Farm in Shanghai Has New Visitor’s Center Constructed From Freight Containers

With the recent popularity of container architecture, we are seeing some beautiful designs from recycled freight containers, the new hotel and office for Tony’s Farm in Shanghai, by design firm playze, features traditional Chinese typologies combined with a livable aesthetic to bring an stylistic elegance to what could otherwise be a cumbersome form.

Container Architecture in Shanghai at Tony's Farm

Founded and owned by Tony Zhang, Tony’s Farm is Shanghai’s largest organic vegetable farm, providing natural, safe, organic produce to thousands of Shanghai residents each day. The farm is dedicated to soil improvement, water cycle system purification, and grows food without chemical fertilizers, hormones, or additives. No genetically-modified vegetables are permitted.

Container Architecture in Shanghai at Tony's Farm

The new 11,400 square foot visitor center at Tony’s Farm, constructed of 78 shipping containers, will be used to welcome farm guests. Hotel rooms will be built in the second phase. It features a lobby and reception area, VIP area, courtyards, operational offices, and a store, with a connection to a packaging warehouse.

Container Architecture in Shanghai at Tony's Farm

Sustainability was a primary goal in the construction and operation of the design. Heavy insulation has been used in container walls, some of which are perforated to allow for natural lighting, while retaining the exterior’s raw industrial appearance.

Container Architecture in Shanghai at Tony's Farm

To visually and physically connect interior and exterior spaces, the building is designed as a continuous spatial sequence, inviting visitors to explore.

Container Architecture in Shanghai at Tony's Farm

On the second level, two connecting bridges lead to the office wing, which is covered by an existing warehouse. Offices are sheltered beneath an existing room to form an inner facade towards a production hall.

Container Architecture in Shanghai at Tony's Farm

Container Architecture in Shanghai at Tony's Farm

Container Architecture in Shanghai at Tony's Farm

Terraces transition between interior work and leisure spaces. From the cantilevered main entrance, visitors are greeted at the reception desk in a three-story high lobby adjacent to an inner courtyard.

Container Architecture in Shanghai at Tony's Farm

Energy efficiency concerns were addressed with a geothermal heat pump for heating, cooling, and controlled ventilation. Additional green approaches include LED lighting and locally-produced bamboo flooring.

Container Architecture in Shanghai at Tony's Farm

Container Architecture in Shanghai at Tony's Farm

All photos copyright Bartosz Kolonko

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