COFCO Demonstration Center, Beijing

The new COFCO Demonstration Centre in Beijing is located at the entrance of the Eco Valley area. The aim of the centre was to show the latest technologies in the field of sustainable cultivation for vegetables, fruit and flowers. COFCO aspired to create a Demonstration Center where agriculture, ecology and leisure come together. The centre provides the opportunity for visitors to experience and enjoy the production and taste of fresh food and flowers throughout the year.

The building is a transparent sculpture of steel and glass based on a standard greenhouse type. The main entrance and water garden form the high and spacious heart of the building. From this central hall the building terraces down to the agriculture and leisure zones. In a cross-shaped structure of medium-height spaces, the theater is housed in the recreation zone and the special vegetable garden in the horticultural zone. The top of the building is crowned with a row of slender wind turbines.

Read More

The building is divided into different spaces with a specific landscape theme. The route, which is inspired by a Chinese knot, is designed so that both long and short walks can be made. In the central hall lies a wetland garden with a central plaza. There is also a flower cultivation area, a flower garden with spectacular flower hills and hanging plants from the ceiling, two different restaurants, a theater, a picking garden, a vegetable garden, a high-tech demonstration zone and a shop. The play areas for children are inspired by the hanging flowers and vegetables and is a real fantasy world with hanging objects in bright colors.

The climate control of the demonstration center is designed in such a way that visitors will experience different climate zones throughout the building. This is achieved through local heating, cooling and humidification systems. All rainwater is collected and used for irrigation and (evaporative) cooling. Around 50% of the total water demand for the center is covered by the rainwater collection system.

The collected rainwater is stored inside the building, under the restaurant area. In the summer, heat is stored in the ground while cold from the ground is used to cool the building.  In winter, heat from the ground is used to heat the building. The building has been designed to be as energy-neutral as possible. Triple insulation panels minimize the loss of heat at night and the walls absorb solar heat so that the building can be heated.  An innovative ventilation system minimises the energy requirement of the building and harvests energy from the ventilated air. Solar panels can be installed on the south facing parts of the roof and car park. In total, the potential electricity production is 2 million kWh.

COFCO Demonstration Center, Beijing



Atelier Loos van Vliet, Van Bergen Kolpa Architecten and Wageningen University

Beijing, China