KAPKAR / IVS-E12 | Innovative Cattle Shed

See and know where the food comes from is an essential value.

How does the cowshed 2.0 look like? In other words: which in all respects sustainable and innovative alternatives are there for the barn, the most common type of barn that especially in the field of animal welfare and the environment begins to be desired?

Within the project Innovative livestock of the province of Utrecht asked a number of farmers and architects for the answer to that question.


year: 2011
location: Eemdijk, Netherlands
client: Province Utrecht, CBKV Utrecht
commission: study project ‘Innovative Cattle Shed 2.0’
curator: Studio Makkink & Bey
organization: Bureau LaMi, CBK Utrecht
© visuals: Jaap Janssen

participants: FBW Architecten, Bureau Ira Koers, Back McMaster Architecten, Studio Makkink & Bey, Mei architects and planners, Studio Frank Havermans, Architecten De Vylder Vinck Taillieu.


Many farmers in Utrecht want a new barn. The current stables are too small and could use a modernization work for a better environment and welfare of humans and animals. In addition, on 1 April 2015, the quota is abolished, causing many farmers to expand their industry. The province saw this as a chance to clear the way for an entirely new type of house. A barn that:

  • Fits into the landscape
  • Taking into account the welfare of animals
  • Taking into account the welfare of farmers
  • Environmentally friendly Built (legislation concerning manure and ammonia emissions)
  • Good for the development of the livestock in the region in the long term
  • Cost awareness is built


Within the project Innovative livestock is Havermans linked to farmer Richard Vedder, Eemdijk.

Asked about his motivation to participate in the project, Havermans says that the past fifteen years a lot has changed in the rural area where he lives. ”Many farmers have stopped, often forced. Those who still are farming are scaling up to larger companies. This has an impact on the landscape. Old farms are often incompetent converted into ‘villas’ with ornamental gardens. Farms build and grow in a uniform way, which is often used on industrial sites. Parts of the countryside ones so special largely shaped by the farmers, are threatened in their specific special character. This is a task for architects and designers.”

It wrings in a small-scale landscape, according to Havermans. ‘The challenge is to build stables suitable for their function and also do justice to the landscape in which they reside. That is no easy task but a necessary one. For agricultural entrepreneurs who still want to stay long users of the countryside, people who live around it and those who otherwise benefit from it.’