Architecture Public Institution Sustainable design

Farm research lab in Sanya by CLOU Architects combines traditional Hainan architecture and modern technology

August 14, 2021

Sanya Farm Lab by CLOU Architects is a 4,000m2 four-storey research and exhibition space, located in Nanfan High Tech District of Sanya, the southernmost city on the tropical Hainan Island. The design focus of the project is to combine the climate characteristics of Sanya, integrate the regional scientific and technological agricultural elements, and create a multi-functional research compound and commercial display space.

Nanfan District of Sanya is transforming into a tropical agriculture scientific research hub. The local government is investing in research on environmental change, land/water scarcity, and food production issues, as well as the growing desire of middle-class local populace to return to nature and rural area tourism.

The completion of the Nanshan Farm Lab is based on the modern organic agriculture display and the upgrading and evolution of lifestyles. It blurs the traditional boundaries between nature and the city and narrows the distance between technology and life.


The Farm Lab integrates high-tech exhibitions such as agricultural robotics and indoor vertical farming. It brings a brand new “farm-to-table” experience. The aim of the design is to present the advanced technologies in front of the public in real-time, highlighting the progress which agricultural tech has made in lifestyle and education territory. And its key focus is to blur the boundaries between indoors and outdoors, maximising visitors’ communication and interactions inside and outside the architectural building. 


The structure was developed into three steps: first, constructed outdoor public space. Set up an outdoor public space with clear scales and rich levels through strategically combining four storeys’ functional massing. The cantilever on the second floor created a semi-outdoor rain shelter for the first floor and a relaxing outdoor public platform for outside dining and children’s playing for the third floor.

Second, knitted outdoor public spaces together through outdoor circulation. This features a spiral staircase and huge stairs of the multi-functional theatre to connect the indoor and outdoor, which made the flow towards the outdoors more seamless.

Third, enhanced the comfort level of outdoor space. The 800mm deep roof grid structure reduced the sunlight absorption by 70%. It provided a shelter for the outdoor platform, and at the same time ensured natural ventilation and an open view. The grid structure is inspired by the traditional house of Hainan Li, which is a modern performance of the long-established architecture context. 


Project Name: Sanya Farm

Typology: Exhibition, Retail

Client: Jinmao Sanya Nanfan Rongmao Real Estate Co., Ltd. Location: Sanya, Hainan Island, China Construction

Area: 6,900m2

Year of completion: 2021

Architect: CLOU architects

Interior Design Concept: CLOU architects

Design Team Leader: Jan Clostermann, Lin Li Design Team: Na Zhao, Sebastian Loaiza, Julien Douillet, Yaxi Wang, Tianshu Liu, Tiago Tavares, Principia Wardhani, Javier Peláez, Yiqiao Zhao

Construction Drawings/MEP/Structure: Urban Architecture Design Co., Ltd

Façade Consultant: China Building Technique Group Co., Ltd.

Interior Design Construction Drawings: G-Aart design Lighting Consultant: Fuzhou Bovs Lighting Design Co., Ltd.

Photography: Shining Laboratory

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