Shipping Container Pavilion is a Symbol of Sustainability for Slow Food Nation

by , 04/01/11

San Francisco, Slow Food Nation, reclaimed Cargo containers, shipping containers, Cargotecture, architecture, Jensen Architects

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.

San Francisco, Slow Food Nation, reclaimed Cargo containers, shipping containers, Cargotecture, architecture, Jensen Architects

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!

+ Jensen Architects

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  1. lazyreader April 6, 2011 at 1:40 pm
  2. lazyreader April 4, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Can you really feed enough people waiting for food to grow. All these special farmers’ market set up by Slow Food Nation. They do this largely out of some personal agenda they have with big business. The idea being, if you don’t work at McDonald’s your not some minimum wage drone, if you don’t eat at McDonald’s your not contributing to some evil greedy corporation. Transportation only accounts for a small portion to the economic and environmental costs of supplying food to urban residents. Gas guzzling plays a huge role in local food systems. But those farmer’s markets and vegetable stands involve a huge amount of driving on lightly loaded fleets of vehicles. Have any of you ever been to a farmer’s market and have seen the fleets of Land Rovers, Volvo’s, and Porsche’s heading home with their cargo that all can fit in a glove box. 18 wheel trucks are far more efficient, since their filled to the brim with goodies. Since most of us typically go to supermarkets for more than one item. We’re much more efficient picking up a plethora of groceries.The eco benefits of this farming rest partly on the concept of minimizing food miles. I disagree with food miles. Their a marketing fad. We don’t need food-miles, we need pounds traveled per unit of fuel, or Pound-Gallons. Every semi truck we fill to capacity is another truck partially empty, we don’t need on the road. With worldwide crop prices soaring, the elitist don’t care. Sure, slow food tastes better, but agribusiness has long argued that industrial farming is the only way to economically feed a global population nearing 7 billion. Organic farming yields less per acre than standard farming, which means a worldwide Slow Food initiative might lead to turning more forests into farmland. The world will need twice as much food by 2050 and to perceive we can grow it all slowly and organically is viciously irresponsible.

  3. sjsobolewski April 3, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    hmmmm…looks an awful lot like this container built back in 2007:

  4. Danilo Corbas April 1, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    See my shipping container house in Brazil:

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