Hors catégorie / Published on February 1, 2021
Dairy Cow Envy
Au Gré des champs – La SHED architecture
by Juli Pisano
Photos: Maxime Brouillet
The Gré des champs. The D’Iberville. The Pont Blanc. The Monnoir. The Frères Chasseur. What do these fine local cheeses have in common? They are all products of lucky dairy cows, living the life at the end of a country road in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec, Canada!
Source : http://augredeschamps.com/#lesfromages
Welcome to the modern dairy farm and cheese factory Au Gré des Champs …
where it’s good to be a cow!
The first cohort of new residents took possession of their new barn built by la SHED architecture in February 2019.
Family farm third generation owner Marie-Pier Gosselin’s dream?
• To envision a new living environment for the 55 cows and a new workspace for the team.
• To pay tribute to her family heritage while rethinking the barn from a design and architectural perspective.
• To revisit the dairy industry’s practices in order to make the “girls”, the cows, the main occupants concerned, treated with care and consideration in the comfort of their home.
The desire? To combine user-friendliness, aesthetics and functionality?
The answer? Entrusting this exceptional mandate to the Montreal creative firm la SHED architecture, sought-out for the playfulness of their residential projects and their use of sober materials. After all … the mandate was all about designing a house for cows! Makes much sense to choose a young dynamic firm that excels in residential projects… borderlining on out-of-the-box!
The dairy farm grounds lead to an imposing silhouette with a futuristic look that blends naturally with the hilly landscape of Montérégie and Richelieu background. Like a window on the artisanal know-how, the barn offers an inspiring and functional environment allowing visitors and workers and especially the dairy cows to experience and live the farm fully.
In the new Au Gré des Champs barn, the “girls”, aka the dairy cows, have about six times more space than they would have in a traditional dairy barn.
In summer, the cows run free and spend their days outside in the pasture. They come inside for milking and meals.
In winter, the barn becomes their all-inclusive cathedral. A glimpse up high and they can see the sky and feel the sun!
Fun fact… ?
Exposure to light increases fertility and milk production… Duh!!!! Cows are not the different than humans, go figure! Believe it! Light exposure lifts morale and increases the productivity of the whole team, human and cattle!
In la SHED’s mind, “putting the concepts of respect for the rural landscape and agricultural heritage at the heart of the barn design, instead of optimizing space to the detriment of animal comfort” was paramount.
The result ? An agricultural building that presents itself as an unobstructed volume emanating an impression of lightness. By day, the shed’s bright facades reflect the adjoining fields and sky and blends into the landscape. At night, it offers a reassuring presence, like an illuminated lantern revealing, in a play of shadows, its interior.
It makes you want to pack up, sell everything and milk cows, doesn’t it?
#metoo! In the meantime, I’ll content myself with a happy hour at home and a wine and Au Gré des Champs cheese tasting. I’ll raise a glass to the “girls” and the visionaries of this modern, responsible and sensitive farm! Bravo!
Read Au Gré des Champs
by Marie-Pier Gosselin | Virginie Gosselin
« 1 famille, 30 vaches, 7 fromages et 10 chefs. Au Gré des Champs est un hymne au travail des artisans de la terre et à leur savoir-faire, ainsi qu’un livre de recettes inédites de grands chefs québécois.À travers des images d’un quotidien dont elle a réussi à capturer l’émotion, Virginie Gosselin, photographe, nous montre la beauté… »
La SHED is …
For more than 10 years, the Montreal architecture and design firm la SHED architecture has passionately contributed to shaping the architectural landscape of Quebec. For the young firm, each project is seen as an opportunity to redefine the relationship between the individual and his habitat. Combining excellence with accessibility, the SHED offers warm living spaces that stand out for their simplicity, accuracy and timelessness.