The new Sanya Farm Lab is a four-story exhibition space that provides 4,000 square meters of space for education, play and innovative ideas. It is located in Nanfan High Tech District of Sanya, the southernmost city on tropical Hainan Island, an area transitioning into a scientific and agricultural research hub.

Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos

The Sanya Farm Lab reflects the surrounding area, where the government is investing in research around critical issues like environmental changes, land/water scarcity and food production.

Related: ZHA designs sustainable expansion to China’s largest international exhibition center

large building with wood grid roof
large building with wood grid roof next to glass building

The multifunctional research compound and commercial display space features exhibitions covering high-tech advancements like agricultural robotics and indoor vertical farming. The goal of the project is to highlight agricultural advancement, a mission the building design honors by blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors. This is achieved through massive windows that stream natural light into the building as well as indoor landscaping and plants.

plants growing inside a building
empty room with transparent pitched roof

In a press release, Beijing-based CLOU Architects explained that the structure was developed around platforms, stairs and shade. The focus began by detailing the outdoor public spaces first, with a well-planned cantilever on the second floor, which houses the organic restaurant and bar areas. The cantilevered design creates a rain shelter and passive cooling for the first floor below. Platforms center around the farm-to-table dining space, a theater and a children’s play area. Curved staircases connect the indoor and outdoor spaces in a nod to the curves of nature.

lobby with glass walls and ceilings
glass building with wood grid facade

The final layer is the deep roof grid structure, made of wood, that reduces sunlight absorption by 70% and improves energy efficiency. Natural ventilation is achieved by the design, too. The grid design pays homage to the traditional house of Hainan Li, embracing the cultural Chinese heritage of the area.

outdoor courtyard next to wood and glass building
aerial view of glass and wood building in a city under development

Sanya Farm Lab is one of many projects by CLOU Architects. The team’s fingerprints on the project speak to their mission to “strive to realize projects that will positively influence the people involved in its process, the environment, and the communities who live and work there.”

+ CLOU architects

Photography by Shining Laboratory via v2com