San Francisco’s Slow Food Nation Festival in 2008 was a celebration of delicious foods and sustainability, capped off by a reclaimed cargo shipping container that was converted into a ticket counter and welcome center. Designed by Jensen Architects, the container-cum-information counter is an iconic symbol of what Slow Food Nation stands for. The bold orange building greeted the public and welcomed them to the delicious tasting pavilions.
Sprouting from the roof of the pavilion is an impromptu garden of plants and herbs, joined by a symbol of green energy – a windmill. Open rectangular windows were cut out on each side and countertops were installed, providing a view of the ocean through the container, on one of San Francisco’s piers.
The welcome pavilion also lead visitors to the most important aspect – the Tasting Pavilions dedicated to honey & preserves, pickles & chutney, cheese, olive oil, chocolate and spirits. Each area showcased an array of the finest fresh and local foods and offered samples abound for the taking.
Aside from serving as a symbol of recycling and sustainability, the pavilion also doubles as a billboard, with the Slow Food Nation banner cut into the marquee above the corrugated container. That said, it is no surprise that the pavilion won Jensen Architects the 2009 AIA San Francisco Design Awards Special Achievement Award. We love when architects creatively upcycle and reuse shipping containers, and this one takes the cake as the welcome center for a festival involving two of our favorite things – sustainability and food!