Learning Space
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Green Roof Over Learning Space
Learning Space Interior
Learning Space Plan
Multipurpose Space
Event Space
Multipurpose Space Plan
Barn Exterior
Barn Floor Plan

o'brien farm

client: O'Brien Farm Foundation

location: St John's, Newfoundland

use: commercial / educational


    barn: 1,500 ft2

    multipurpose space: 3,000 ft2

    storage: 700 ft2


Located on 37 acres of land within the City of St. John's, Newfoundland, O'Brien Farm focuses on educating and engaging the public on traditional farming techniques, sustainable food growth and cultivation, and the Newfoundland-Irish heritage. Farming and educational programs like those at O’Brien Farm help to bring further public engagement and agency to individual families who would like to participate in more localized forms of food production.


The design's program includes a Barn, a Learning Centre within two Outbuildings, a third Outbuilding, and a network of paths and boardwalks. The Barn includes a new upper floor designed to be a multipurpose space for community events and gatherings while the first floor houses the farm animals and storage. The Learning Centre is within two outbuildings that are linked together by an exhibition space. The Learning Centre contains a large and small classroom that both have access to the outdoors, and the exhibition space has a habitable green roof with light wells into the space below. The third Outbuilding is designed to be a flexible space for storing tools and farm supplies, learning, or housing animals. The barn and outbuildings are all designed to be built on the existing footprints of the original buildings to preserve farmland and reuse as much of the former structure as possible.

An accessible network of coloured boardwalks and pathways connects the various buildings on the farm. Descriptive signage and interactive exhibitions along this network guide visitors throughout the farm to the barn and outbuildings.

© 2017 Woodford Sheppard Architecture Ltd.