Smout Allen

Scott-Siqi Chen Y4

Nomadic Farm. ‘Nomadic Farm’ explores the relationship between nature, urbanity, and industrialism behind the dairy industry within the Alpine region. 

Suffering from a dairy crisis, Switzerland is looking for a solution to save its traditional family farms. Situated in the heart of a medieval town, Gruyères, the town is famous for its cheese and traditional transhumance farming. The annual festival, Désalpe, is a renowned local celebration, where cows are dressed in floral headdresses and decorative cow bells to mark their descent from the high pastures to rejoin the winter farms. 

Within this rich agricultural setting, the ‘Nomadic Farm’ intends to explore the nomadic nature of farming and how it adapts to seasonal change. As a winter farm in an urban context, the design is inspired by the atmosphere of the summer farm where cows graze freely. An elevated cow pathway creates a journey around the building allowing visual interaction between cows and people. 

The project intends to reference a mountain made from natural materials including timber, hay and straw–with the facade made from hay bales, it is also the food for cows. Throughout a seasonal cycle, the hay is eaten by the herd, and the building is ‘eaten’ by hay. The theatre of seasonality is celebrated in the scheme.

Terra Incognita 2019