Metal Shed is an architectural proposal in Hualien, Taiwan presenting three schemes for a self-sustaining greenhouse facility that harvests hydroponically grown food. Re-imagining the concept of farm-to-table cuisine, Metal Shed sets a new paradigm for urban farming by creating participatory experiences for visitors to harvest, cook, dine and learn about local, organically-grown food under a single ‘shed.’ Using re-purposed shipping containers as the primary building module, the project develops typologies of experience based on clusters and aggregations of the shipping containers. These design explorations present a variety of experiences that blend and hybridize the programmatic areas of the facility—a greenhouse, dark-house, education center, market, and restaurant—into unique zones of growing, dining, shopping, and learning experiences.
The three schemes: the Green Bar, Sandwich Scheme and the Island Scheme each consider a range of participatory possibilities for visitors to harvest their own food to take home, to use as ingredients in open kitchens or cooking classes, or to simply shop and enjoy the assortment of organic greens and produce. This project was completed at Pentagram in 2015 with Margot Arbanas, Natasha Jen, and Mike Szivos.
The green bar orchestrates an experience of the shed that begins with harvesting and concludes with shopping and eating.
The sandwich scheme encourages visitors to alternate between experiences of the vertical greenhouse and mushroom facade. In this exchange, visitors are given opportunities to eat, shop, and learn about the harvesting process.
The perimeter of the island scheme is open from all sides so that each island is equally accessible. The islands are free-standing structures with controlled access points for entry during business hours.