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A Modern Agricultural Barn for Teaching

Utah State University
Matthew Hillyard Agricultural Teaching and Research Facility, Utah State University

Utah State University began as an agricultural college before it expanded into the multi-faceted university it is today. Our task for this new facility was to go back to the roots of the university out among the expansive fields of cows and crops and create a building with a modern style barn design that encompasses varying research, veterinary, and educational needs.


Agriculture has a rich history and typology that needed to be tapped into but in a way that responded to the university’s forward-thinking nature. Further research into how this strong culture could mix with the current needs of the university led us through a journey of collages, drawings, physical models, clay studies, and computer models, refining the concept at every step and causing the ‘combination of parts’ to develop in such a way that allowed the building to extend itself out and twist along multiple axis, thus creating a landmark that serves as a dynamic learning tool, responds to site context and views, and seamlessly integrates into the landscape.