Innovation That Matters

At night the barn creates a lantern effect, making it a very visible landmark in the middle of a field | Photo source La Shed Architecture

Translucent barn improves animal welfare

Architecture & Design

A design firm has created a barn with translucent walls that provides both cows and humans with lots of natural light

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Spotted: One guiding issue in farming is how to improve animal welfare. A Montréal-based architectural studio has recently come up with a barn design that could help improve the quality of life for both animals and workers. 

The La Shed Architecture-designed barn, which was created and built for an organic cheese farm in Montérégie, Quebec, features walls made of translucent polycarbonate sheeting. To ensure that the building blends harmoniously into the landscape, the framework was made from spruce and hemlock – materials commonly used to construct barns in Canada. 

The façade walls actually use two layers of polycarbonate – one clear and one translucent. This lets in a huge amount of natural light during the day, while at night the barn creates a lantern effect, making it a very visible landmark in the middle of a field.

La Shed Architecture coordinator Christian Laporte comments that the design also creates a link between the environment and the work of the farm, saying that, “For visitors, these translucent facades allow them to make the link between interior spaces and exterior grazing spaces, and thus better understand the living environment of cows.”

At Springwise, we have seen a big interest in innovations aimed at protecting animals and wildlife, and much of this comes from design firms. Some recent advances include the use of specially-designed 3D-printed cement tiles to restore marine biodiversity in Australia and a Dutch city that is turning bus stops into bee stops

Written By: Lisa Magloff

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