Faced with the challenge of creating a flexible space to serve the needs of the three client groups, the 17 students of the Design Build Studio developed a simple, linear scheme with an east-west orientation to maximize sunlight. The chosen site, along an existing access road and linked to an older walking path, is at the edge of the farm, acting as a threshold to the space, while minimizing its impact on fertile soil and maximizing connections to the rest of the Center. Discussions with the clients after the initial period of design led to the finalized space, which contains tool storage for each group, a greenhouse, a covered outdoor classroom, two tool washing and rainwater collection stations, and covered bike storage.
Simple construction techniques and local materials were used throughout. There is no electricity on site, so the spaces are day-lit through a polycarbonate roof and a continuous clerestory, which also provides natural ventilation. The gable roof has a diagonal ridge with a double pitch that allows the classroom to open to the farm, while maintaining solar access and directing rainwater. Salvaged wood was used for formwork, and concrete was mixed and poured on site. The wall panels and roof trusses were prefabricated in the studio and trucked to the site for assembly, and the enclosure walls have a layer of vegetative material from the site woven into a galvanized mesh screen. The classroom is slatted with donated, locally-milled cedar boards.