Agricultural shed

Agricultural shed

Architect
LOCALARCHITECTURE
Location
Lignières, canton of Neuchâtel, Switzerland | View Map
Project Year
2012
Category
Farms
Matthieu Gafsou

Agricultural shed

LOCALARCHITECTURE as Architects

LANDSCAPE / SITUATION

Le Cerisier is a large agricultural estate located on the southern slopes of the Chasseral mountain at an altitude of 1,000 m. The soft contours of the Jura mountains and the peak of the Chasseral itself shape the distinctive local landscape.


FUNCTIONNAL PROGRAMM

- Shed to house tractor and agricultural machinery

- Repair workshop

- Wood-fired heating

-Wood storage

- Dog kennel


LOCATION

The new shed extends the lines of the main farm building, complementing Le Cerisier’s existing infrastructures. Its set-back position preserves the open views over the valley while (re)defining the approach to the farm with its distinctive and agreeable presence. The precise location of the structure on the slope is closely aligned with the orchard’s topography, limiting the need for excavations and backfill.


SELF-BUILT DESIGN

The quality of buildings in the agricultural landscape depends, to a very great extent, on the sensitivity of individual farmers. Aesthetics and integration within the natural or built environment are often not a priority. Dialogue between the various project actors helps to create a climate of trust, paving the way for a sensitive, collaborative approach. Self-build is an integral component of agricultural life and a key resource for any new construction project – a capability that can drastically reduce construction costs and deliver significant added value. Farmers, both as a matter of tradition and in their day-to-day work, are skilled in cutting timber and basic carpentry. This design for a new machinery shed at Le Cerisier aimed, by means of close collaboration between the farmer and the professionals involved, to create a unique building adapted to its context and its environment. Self-build was incorporated in the design process by taking this into account when the overall approach was considered. It was a major factor in the construction process, seeking to ensure that the built object delivered a standard of workmanship that reflected the contribution of both main players.


PROCESS

Meticulous upstream analysis of the entire project process was undertaken so as to define exactly the respective roles of construction professionals and farmer and how they related to each other. This analysis highlighted the crucial details that would ensure the integrity of the architectural intention, while also specifying those areas offering scope for the farmer to intervene.


CONCEPT

The new shed comprises two structural frames which bear the load of the building, delivering the extended span the shed’s functionality requires. The ridges of this articulated structure define an attractive, eye-catching form that blends with and enhances its context. Internally it offers scope for the farmer to determine layout and design. The profile aligns with the cornice of the existing farm building, sloping gently down towards the orchard and the surrounding fields. This variable form offers scope for organising the shed’s varied functional programme beneath its roof. The structure is designed and cut using state-of-the-art digital technology and assembled on-site.

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