To celebrate Melbourne’s coffee capital moniker, organisers of the 2013 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival decided to install a pop-up Coffee Farm on the banks of the Yarra River, where caffeine fiends could enjoy some of the world’s best blends.

Repurposed shipping containers were a crucial component of the design concept for the project.

Design firm HASSELL transformed the ‘Red Stairs’, a popular public amphitheatre, into a terraced coffee plantation.

The Urban Coffee Farm comprised 125 coffee trees, timber pallet seating, packing crates, and a collection of shipping containers.



With their mobility and affordability, shipping containers were a very practical design decision for the temporary installation.

In keeping with the theme of the project, the materials were explicitly chosen to evoke the mysterious and exotic geographies often associated with the source of coffee.



The raw shipping containers, timber pallets and packing crates symbolised the long journey that coffee beans take from where they are grown to the mouths of cosmopolitan coffee connoisseurs.

According to the designers: “It brings to life the story about coffee, inspiring coffee drinkers to think about its origins, production and transport.”