By Tracy Nicholson & Josiah Kopp | Photos provided by JLG Architects
Harvesting Past & Present
To get ahead of today’s challenging climate, business owners and industry leaders are finding inspiration by the acre; between the corn rows, behind the barn and deep within the Quonsets of North Dakota’s family farms. Agricultural architecture is no longer rooted solely in small towns and rural shelter belts, its regional influence has grown into a long list of workplaces, industries, education centers and hot spots where we dine, shop and play.
Whether architecture is inspired by agrarian elements or designed to boost complex agricultural initiatives, JLG Architects is harvesting past and present by helping businesses educate and relate to the Bis-Man region, grow the workforce, enhance retention and streamline operating systems from the ground up.
JLG’s Designer Nick Lippert explained, “Agricultural design explores function and flexibility for future growth, challenging us to do more with as little as needed. When design responds to agriculture, buildings become approachable and honest while acknowledging our cultural heritage. Embracing our roots establishes a generational and widespread appreciation, from patrons and business owners to employee culture.”
Preserving Common Ground
Trends may come and go, but advancing agriculture while conserving our land’s resources is timeless. JLG has recently unveiled the design renderings for Grand Farm’s Innovation Shop, a Casselton, ND project led by Emerging Prairie. The project, which officially broke ground in October of 2022, will be a part of a 142-acre project that will include both private and public research to take the future of autonomous farming to the next level. Grand Farm capitalizes on the region’s potential and expertise in the agriculture and technology industries. Their Initiative provides common ground to accelerate research and technology, creating a farm of the future that can develop opportunities and solve worldwide agricultural challenges.
At Spearfish, SD’s Farmhouse Bistro, a skeletal barn invites patrons to an extraordinary destination that exalts the familiar by elevating regional agrarian forms, local materials and artifacts that support and connect the unexpected. The Farmhouse Bistro offers classic contemporary American dining in a rustic atmosphere.
JLG has also worked extensively on the NDSU campus, including the Beef Research facility which integrates sweeping rooflines and exposed technology. This project fits the mold of modern architecture yet unites historical context and honest expression of its functions for impactful design. The facility aligns with the aesthetic vernacular of our farms and ranches, provoking nostalgia with a familiar glow that resonates from porches and outbuildings across the region.
From calving pens to a laboratory space, this nearly-23,000 square foot building helps researchers meet the challenges of beef cattle production across America.
Theodore Roosevelt presidential library’s design concept is seeing the landscape as the library. The design dissolves into its surroundings, recognizing that there is so much more to learn and experience in the badlands. This is a concept of conservation, restoring the native ecology and managing it well.”-Jennifer Burke Jackson, Commercial Studio Director, JLG
Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library (coming in 2025) Rendering by Snøhetta
As the Architect of Record for the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library (TRPL) in Medora, JLG is continuing Roosevelt’s pursuit of conservation, carefully carving out modern and sustainable architecture in the historic Badlands. The firm is working with Confluence, JE Dunn, and Snøhetta as the Design Architect and Design Landscape Architect.
Agricultural architecture is also influencing many of the region’s commercial endeavors. At First Western Bank in Bismarck, JLG’s design concept fused the site’s industrial character with the region’s past, present and future— leveraging local materiality, symbolic forms and panoramic views that capture the essence of an agricultural and industrial community.
Looking to the horizon, JLG is helping drive the Dakotas and the surrounding region forward as great places not just to live and work, but also as a great place for visitors to experience. While we live in a world of ever-evolving trends, JLG has set out to make every design experience timeless, serving its communities for generations to come.
Exploring More Agricultural Architecture
JLG’s agricultural architecture projects can be explored across the Midwest. From True North Equipment and Black Gold Farms to Amity Technology, Happy Harry’s, Living Word Lutheran Church, King’s Walk Golf Course and countless others.