Tony’s Farm is the biggest organic farm in Shanghai, and now it has an equally sustainable visitor center built from 78 recycled shipping containers. Designed by Playze, Tony’s Farm welcome center is meant to help connect the consumer to the farming and production of their food, while encouraging a more sustainable lifestyle. The building houses a lobby, store and connection to the offices and packaging warehouse. Energy-efficient design was a high priority and includes a high performance envelope, efficient systems and lighting.
Tony’s Farm is located just outside of Shanghai to the southeast and is the largest organic vegetable farm in the area. To provide better service to its customers and create a closer connection to the food, they built a new welcome center in 2011. Built from 78 recycled shipping containers, the welcome center houses offices, courtyards, a lobby and reception area, store and connection to the packaging warehouse. The 1,060-square-meter (11,400-square-foot) center will also serve as the lobby to a new hotel, which will be the next phase of development. The arrangement of the containers creates shady protected zones and quiet spaces rooted in traditional chinese typologies and a deep understanding of the climatic requirements of buildings.
The Shanghai Playze office designed and built the center with the goal of sustainability in construction and operation. The reuse of the shipping containers minimizes the production of new materials. The containers are heavily insulated to minimize energy loss without losing the raw industrial effect of the container on the exterior. Some of the containers feature perforations to provide light, while still providing shade. A geothermal heat pump provides energy-efficient heating and cooing and controlled ventilation and LED lights further reduces energy use. Local bamboo products were used for indoor and outdoor flooring and lots of windows provide natural daylight and a visual connection to the surrounding farm.
Images ©Bartosz Kolonko