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What if Old MacDonald hired a cutting-edge architecture firm to design his farm? That’s the question posed by Montreal studio La SHED. Its concept for a family-owned organic cheese producer in Quebec’s Montérégie region delivers a contemporary cow stable that shifts away from the industrialized metal boxes common in the industry and harkens back to farming’s wholesome roots. While the barn mimics the storybook ideal — complete with a tin roof, natural wood frame and hemlock siding accented by a massive red sliding door — it also presents something considerably more modern. A fully translucent facade pours natural light into the interior (a spacious environment that prioritizes cows’ comfort first and foremost) while also delivering a picturesque reflection of the surrounding rural landscape. The glass wall isn’t the only way to get a look inside. By hosting regular events held under the barn’s overhanging roof, the farm works to cultivate a lasting appreciation for agriculture.

Project A Modern Barn: Au Gré des Champs Location Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Canada Firm La SHED Architecture, Canada Team Sébastien Parent, Yannick Laurin and Renée Mailhot with Olivier Bérard, Anthony Bergoin, Romy Brosseau, Kevyn Durocher, Clément Stoll, Dahlia Marinier-Doucet, Pierre-Alexandre Lemieux, Cédric Langevin and Samuel Guimond Photo Maxime Brouillet

A Modern Barn: Au Gré des Champs

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2018
Award of MeritSocial Good
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Project: Miaoxia Community Guest House Location: Miaoxia, China Firm: Insitu Project, Hong Kong
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Insitu Project, Hong Kong
2018
Winner + People’s ChoiceSocial Good
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Toronto, Canada
Firm
Hariri Pontarini Architects, Toronto, Canada
2022
Winner + People’s ChoiceSocial Good
Location
Zhoushan Village, China
Firm
Insitu Project, Hong Kong