Architect: Arc-Int Architecture
Owner: Hunger Task Force
Contractor: The Sigma Group
A gravel drive entrance takes visitors through the old orchard and past the apiary, leading to the barn and the abandoned granary, which is now converted into The Visitor Center. The granary – a basic brick and wood-framed structure – made for a compelling story of re-use.
The farmstead was founded in 1839 along with 160 acres of farmland, The Farm manages a beautifully restored oak savanna, perfect for visitor hikes and education on plant life and ecosystems. The FARM currently produces 1/2 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables for the food bank, which is made possible by the efforts and contributions of its 5,000 community volunteers and benefactors.
The design project consists of a long porch that runs the length of the existing building, covering the south façade, and a modest glazed brick-clad addition to the west. The porch was treated in the same manner as additions to vernacular agricultural buildings; to serve functional needs rather than to sacredly match an existing structure – hence the selection of the white brick on the addition. Traditional elements such as battered columns and picket railing provide welcoming grace and warmth that echoes traditional farmhouse aesthetics. Additionally, the porch provides a platform where teachers, hosts, and leaders can give talks or instructions regarding tasks, and includes a ramp for easy access to the building.
The lobby serves as an essential rest area and elegantly tells the history of the farm through custom-designed wall displays, along with exposed trusses that speak to simple utilitarian framing. The beauty of the original structural clay tile is exposed to reflect the radiant simplicity of a well-crafted granary.
The meeting room offers splendid long tables specifically designed and crafted from The Farm’s own black walnut trees. Wood detailing was kept simple to maintain the farm aesthetic. Again, one will find exposed brick as well as old, yearly grain level markings carefully preserved on the wood columns.
Photos: Karl Herschede