New Lattice Landmark for Hainan Island

Designed by CLOU architects, Sanya Farm Lab is a 4000m2 four-storey exhibition space, located in the Nanfan High Tech District of Sanya, the southernmost city on tropical Hainan Island. The design focus of this project was 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.


The 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 demand of middle-class Chinese’s desire to return to the natural field 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.


Project name:

Sanya Farm

Lab type:

Exhibition, retail

Architecture / design / concept:

CLOU architects

Design team leaders:

Jan Clostermann, Lin Li Design

Construction drawings / MEP / structure:

Urban Architecture Design Co.

Facade consultant:

China Building Technique Group Co.

Interior design construction drawings:

G-Aart design

Lighting consultant:

Fuzhou Bovs Lighting Design Co.


Shining Laboratory

Not just an exhibition centre

The Farm Lab integrates and covers high-tech exhibitions, such as agricultural robotics, indoor vertical farming, etc. 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 techs made in lifestyle and education territory. And its key point is to blur the boundaries between indoors and outdoors, maximising visitors’ communication and interactions inside and outside the building.

Platforms, stairs and shade

The structure was developed in three steps. Firstly, CLOU architects set up an outdoor public space with clear scales and rich levels through strategically combining the four storeys’ functional massing. The cantilever on the second storey has created a semi-outdoor shelter from the rain for the first floor and a relaxing outdoor public platform for outdoor dining and children’s playing for the third floor.

Secondly, CLOU architects knitted outdoor public spaces together through outdoor circulation. By using a spiral staircase and large stairs in the multi-functional theatre, the practice has created a connection with the indoor and outdoor areas, which encourages users to go outside more frequently.

Lastly, the firm enhanced the comfort level of the outdoor space. The 800mm-deep roof grid structure has reduced 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 nationality, which is a modern performance of the long-established architecture context.

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