The Main Ridge Dairy is located on Melbourne's Mornington Peninsula amongst small rural holdings and the regions boutique wineries, eateries and farm produce outlets.
The facility serves as both a 'factory' and retail outlet for the production of handmade farmhouse goats cheese. The Brief called for a 'humble' farm building on a tight budget that reflected the crafted and boutique nature of the product.
The building nestles into the side of the ridge below the tree canopy and follows the natural contours. The 30m long single volume is a deliberately simple and pure form of the farm shed.
The design solution utilises a standard farm shed as its structural core, with a 9mx6m structural grid and 12 degree pitched roof. The pitched roof form offers the timeless and simple notion of shelter and enclosure, whilst also fulfilling the practical role of providing a ventilated roof space for services required by the factory. This ensures services access and maintenance does not disrupt the cheese making process below.
Both ends of the shed are open ended to provide a sheltered area, for deliveries to the south and for the public to the north. The open ends reinforce the spatial and structural strategy and effectively frame the landscape from within whilst providing shelter from winds, rain and summer sun.
Unlike the conventional shed the building is clad in a layering of translucent opalescent fibreglass and vertical hardwood fins. The 'factory' is contained within an insulated wall panel system providing the required refrigerated environment for cheese production. The translucent fibreglass allows the transfer of diffused and controlled light both during the day and night and produce a soft glow to the interior, whilst the fins unify the whole composition and provide further solar control along both east and west facades
Detailing is robust and utilitarian and a reflection of the working farm environment; many fixing components were made by the owner on site.