In 2017, Snøhetta was commissioned by New World Development to design residential clubhouses for THE PAVILIA FARM development in Tai Wai, Hong Kong, creating a calming green pocket in the middle of the busy big city life. The three houses will provide a space where people can interact, share experiences, and enjoy urban farming in a common garden. Two of the three clubhouses are completed and just opened, while the last house is expected to be completed at the end of 2023.
Snøhetta is also responsible for the design of both the indoor and the outdoor playground for the clubhouse. The indoor playground is designed as a colorful cave for kids to explore and play.
The three clubhouses, The Tea House, The Farm House, and the Sky House are designed to revolutionize urban living and highlights the importance of creating new green, urban neighborhoods. More people live in cities than ever before - so it is important to build in a way that can make it sustainable - both environmentally and socially. In the urban farm and Farm House landscape, with its 26,000m2 outdoor area, people across all different age groups and social standings can share the experience of planting, nurturing, and dining.
A sanctuary for calm and simplicity
The site of Pavilia Farm is surrounded by mountains and connected to the Shing Mun River. Snøhetta created the clubhouses to become sanctuaries of calm and simplicity in the heart of buzzing Hong Kong – closely integrated with nature – and as spaces that would bring joy and enhance the life quality of the residents at The Pavilia Farm.
The clubhouses are strategically placed in the development as an “interactive string”, connecting various programs that together form a wholesome and enriching experience for its residents. Pavilia Farm represents the future of the urban neighborhood – a shared area bringing people together and creating a feeling of ownership of the space.
The Pavilia Farm and the clubhouses are small but perfect examples of how that can be done. At Snøhetta we talk about collective ownership and creating places and spaces that belong to the collective and can bring people together. Spaces that belong to no one and everyone at the same time. With this project, the Tea House and The Farm House represent those ideas and create a green lung in the middle of pulsating Hong Kong. A space where all the residents can find peace and calm, but also interact and connect with each other.
The Tea House is designed as a point of arrival and as an experience of ascension – to leave the bustling and fast-paced city behind and ascend into calmness. 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.
In contrast to the meditative Tea House, the Farm House is a place for gathering – bringing the farm inside the house and bringing people together. The Farm House is surrounded by the urban farm and its produce – making it the centerpiece of Pavilia Farm. It is built around the rail-bound table system, carefully designed to bring the community together to create shared experiences.
In many ways similar to a dining table in a home, this table is the center point for conversations, laughter, and spending time together. Making the Farm House table the place where residents both 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.
Bringing people together
The two houses are designed differently and to be used in different ways, but they are based on the same philosophy and serve the same purpose; to allow people of various backgrounds and age groups to come together, share experiences, and make memories.
The aim was to create buildings that can be used and loved by all. To create spaces that can improve the resident’s quality of life, provide a sanctuary for peacefulness, and a place that nurtures social contact and shared experiences in the heart of Hong Kong – one of the most densely populated places in the world.
Pavilia Farm and the two clubhouses are now open.