The Creamery, Bannister Downs Dairy, Western Australia Work Building Development, Architecture Images
The Creamery, Bannister Downs Dairy in Northcliffe
Modern Farm Building in Western Australia – design by Bosske
25 Oct 2019
Bannister Downs Dairy
Location: Northcliffe, Western Australia
This facility is built around the unique Bannister Downs Dairy production model combining contrasting themes: the traditional with ultra-hi-tech; local farm with large scale industrial; animals with robots; private with public; food hygiene and effluent management – all under the same roof. It resets the thinking of what the modern dairy currently is and postulates what it could possibly be. Like their operations, the building strategy combines these themes, churning them together into something unique, something dynamic, animated, and never still.
The masterplan, which initiated the project, was simply about defining a line, a boundary where all the dairy’s activities can co-exist inside. Three disparate groups converge on the location: people from the south, including workers, staff and general public; cows from the north, who arrive uphill from the surrounding pasture; and trucks from the east away from other general traffic. It seemed appropriate that a single landscape contour formed this boundary at the apex of a small hill as this would allow water and waste to drain away from the building on all sides in this wet environment. Its form, a soft pebble shape would also act as a counter-measure to the typical sprawl of industrial infrastructure, ad-hoc building and service roads.
The new Creamery development is a 9000sqm farm based industrial complex. It is a one-of-a-kind facility based on grass-to-gate production where all milking, processing, bottling is controlled and achieved in one location. It accommodates state-of-the-art equipment, including a 24-hour voluntary milking rotary robotic dairy with nutrition diagnostics and medical areas, all designed for the comfort and well-being of the herd. The milk is processed by low temperature pasteurisation and packaged with automated machinery using a unique, soft, biodegradable, chalk-based Ecolean pouch. The whole operation is open to the public and on display from a central viewing gallery, demonstrating transparency and sustainable farming and processing practices.
The project provides a civic benefit to the small, remote town of Northcliffe. The dairy is the largest investment to date in the area, providing new jobs, infrastructure, tourism and off-shoot business into the region.
The building is set on verdant, rural farmland outside of Northcliffe. It captures this landscape from the inside, framing views from processing rooms, dairy, boardroom and offices, creating an awareness between industry and farm. The visitors experience is almost entirely within the front of house, but the actual scale and complexity of the processing areas is slowly revealed through the exhibition space along level one.
From an agricultural perspective, the facility puts the cow’s health and ‘wellbeing’ first, providing calm/safe herd environments and diagnostics to regularly check animals’ health. This follows through to their staff’s environment and wellbeing, creating consistent visual connectivity within the building from production areas to the farm.
The building design minimises power consumption and use (re-use) of resources throughout the building. The sustainable elements include: a roof mounted 100kW Photovoltaic array; potable rainwater capture for processing areas; heat exchange pumps in processing; grey water reuse for cow yard wash down; double glazing to minimise direct heat transfer; LED lights; hydronic floor heating; double skin, ventilated façade systems, building management system for lighting/heating; two diesel backup generators; biodegradable chalk-based packaging.
Materials were chosen based on their longevity in the harsh environment and fire performance. The construction process included approx. 90% local subcontractors. A future bio-methane plant is planned.
The masterplan strategy of a contoured boundary line is used to generate an architectural strategy for the main building. Conceived of as a trajectory of building form set in motion: an animated loft of set archetypal shed profiles including modern shed, Australian barn vernacular, gambrel dairy barn. These are blended into a singular long ‘super-shed’, constantly morphing along the perimeter, churning and mixing programme and operations internally.
This red ‘super-shed’ is realised as the main administration building, public entry and visitor’s cafe for the whole complex. Its curving nature along the contour means that the building is always receding, diminishing the overall impression of a large building in the landscape. It also masks the main bulk processing areas which sit behind. The façade ribbons are expressed in modes of animation – slow and fast, open and closed. The façade is multi-purpose, creating sun shading, canopies, colonnade, framed views, entries and other elements which change along the building’s length.
Internally the shed’s program combines a public entry space and foyer to the front, and administration and staff facilities to the back. The general public are drawn upstairs, through the buildings twist, to an internal viewing gallery for the processing areas, ending at a café overlooking farmland.
The buildings processing areas and services are sheltered within a large black annex to the red shed, conceived of as a long shadow cast back across the site, where all internal operations and machinery are housed. Visual connectivity between operation areas and to the farm are accommodated within the processing areas for optimal operation efficiency.
Bannister Downs Dairy in Northcliffe, Western Australia – Building Information
Project size: 5500 sqm
Site size: 9000 sqm
Project Budget: $23000000
Completion date: 2019
Building levels: 2
Photography: Tony Day and Peter Bennetts
The Creamery, Bannister Downs Dairy in Northcliffe images / information received 251019
Location: Northcliffe, Western Australia
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Website: Bannister Downs Dairy