RWTH Students Design Livestock Buildings in Westmünsterland




Axel Timpe


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Architecture students traditionally design bridges, skyscrapers, or factories. But Axel Timpe, an academic staff member at the Chair of Landscape Architecture at RWTH Aachen, has organized a workshop on "Future Livestock Buildings in Westmünsterland." 21 RWTH students traveled to Westmünsterland for four days at the invitation of the Landwirtschaftskammer Borken und der Regionale 2016.


The budding architects met with students from the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, pupils from the Fachschule Agrarwirtschaft Borken, and three agriculturalists. They opened their stalls to the students, so that they could get a look at turkey and piglet fattening and milk production. They also visited a farm in Netherlands that has a new stall concept. Afterwards students knew that an air temperature of twelve degrees is optimal for cows, piglets need a lot of running, and that hygiene is extremely important when it comes to both turkeys and piglets so that no diseases are brought into the stall.

In their designs for a stall of the future, students had to take many aspects into consideration: aside from material and construction methods, standards of hygiene, the animals' typical behavior, and energy and water use all play a role. The working groups presented their results after the four days.

Different Designs

In their design for the "Freischnauze" piglet stall, students aimed for more transparency for visitors, using a larger window to enable a look at the inside of the stall.

The design "Schaufensterpute“ reorganized the farm's different potential uses to minimize the risk of infection to animals. Visitors could be led through halls that run along the outside of the stall but enable a look into the stall.

A design for the milk cow stall was characterized by a mobile roof. This can be opened depending on the season and weather conditions.

"We want to attain interdisciplinary collaboration between budding architects and veterinarians and introduce a new way of thinking together with agriculturalists with this workshop," explained Axel Timpe. He hopes that some of the students' ideas will be implemented.

Source: Press and Public Relations