Glen Ellyn, IL
In collaboration with Omni Workshop, LJC designed an Education Center in Spring Green, Wisconsin, which The Savanna Institute will use to research and educate farmers and the public about agroforestry.
Consisting of three pavilions – the Welcome Center, Research Laboratory, and Education and Events – the facility will anchor the institute’s Education Hub in Spring Green.
Agroforestry incorporates nut trees (typically chestnut and hazelnut) planted in rows into otherwise monoculture fields. The introduction of the trees provides water and soil retention, serves as a windbreak, and contributes to the overall quality of the soil. These tree rows, while reducing the quantity of the seasonal crop, have been proven to increase the overall yield of these crops by benefiting from the trees’ introduction.
The design of the Education Center utilized the existing 1890s hay barn on the site and organized the program into three pavilions. Like the hay barn, the pavilions are designed with heavy limestone walls and a lightweight roof (canopy) structure. Oriented to the tree rows, the Education Center emphasizes the outdoor space between the pavilions, orienting visitors’ approach and views to capture the beauty of the Wisconsin valley.