Snøhetta creates calm amidst the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong.
Living in a city often means we’re disconnected from nature, constantly surrounded by concrete, and lost in a fast-paced lifestyle.
However, what if we could create a space that brings us closer to nature while still being in the middle of the city?
That’s precisely what Snøhetta aimed to do with the Pavilia Farm residential development project in Tai Wai, Hong Kong.
The project, which includes an urban farm surrounded by three clubhouses, is a calming green pocket in the heart of Hong Kong, offering a sanctuary of calm simplicity and an opportunity for the residents of the 3,090 Pavilia Farm units to bond over shared experiences and a shared sense of ownership of the space.
The three clubhouses: The Tea House, Farm House, and Sky House are designed to serve different purposes for the local community, providing a tranquil getaway from the city’s fast-paced living. The Tea House and Farm House recently opened to the public, while the Sky House is expected to reach completion by the end of this year.
The Design Language
The design language of the project is a coalescence of landscape design and urbanism, integrated with the natural landscape of the Shing Mun river and mountains on either side. The Norwegian architects conceptualized the clubhouses to become “sanctuaries of calm and simplicity in the heart of buzzing Hong Kong,” closely integrated with nature and spaces that bring joy and enhance the life quality of the residents at The Pavilia Farm.
The Tea House
The tea house is a tranquil place where residents can relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery around them. The design of the tea house is inspired by the traditional Chinese teahouse, providing an immersive experience for the residents. For the Tea House, water is the main element. The building has an indoor pool on one side and a waterfall on the other. The sound of the falling water becomes an inseparable component of the Teahouse, a relaxing backing harmony calming the mind and slowing down the tempo.
The farmhouse, on the other hand, is a place for residents to gather – bringing the farm inside the house and bringing people together. The interior is designed with an open-plan layout, making it easy for residents to move around and explore. The farmhouse is surrounded by the urban farm and its produce – making it the centrepiece of Pavilia Farm. It is built around the rail-bound table system, carefully designed to unite the community and create shared experiences.
In many ways, similar to a dining table in a home, this table is the centre point for conversations, laughter, and spending time together. Making the Farm House table where residents prepare and eat the food they have gathered while conversations flow and experiences are shared. The table is the heart of the Farm House, while the Farm House itself creates a close-knitted community through food and harvesting from nature.
The Sky House
The sky house, which is expected to be completed later this year, is a place for residents to gather and socialize. The design of the sky house is inspired by the traditional Chinese courtyard house, providing a central space for residents to gather around. The building features an expansive roof terrace that offers residents a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape.
Creating Sustainable Communities
Robert Greenwood, partner and managing director of Snøhetta Asia, elaborates on the project’s intent, highlighting the importance of creating new green, urban neighbourhoods to make cities sustainable, both environmentally and socially.
Pavilia Farm and the clubhouses are small but perfect examples of how that can be done. The Tea House and The Farm House create a green lung in the middle of pulsating Hong Kong, providing a space where all the residents can find peace and calm amidst the stress of the city.
As our cities grow and become more densely populated, it is crucial to create spaces that allow us to connect with nature and slow down. The Pavilia Farm project shows how this can be achieved, providing a tranquil oasis for residents to relax and unwind. By creating spaces that coexist harmoniously with nature, we can improve our well-being and the health of our planet.