Cowell Ranch Hay Barn recognized by architects

Photo of Cowell Ranch Hay Barn

The Cowell Ranch Hay Barn has received more recognition from architects. The latest accolade comes from the East Bay chapter of the American Institute of Architects, which recognized the project with its highest honor, a "citation for architecture."

The barn received a 2017 AIA East Bay Design Award, presented to projects that "embody Northern California design and represent the outstanding work found throughout the Bay Area."

The restoration of the dilapidated barn, led by Fernau & Hartman Architects, transformed the 150-year-old structure into a showcase of lower campus. Architect Richard Fernau (B.A., philosophy, '69) said the firm's philosophy was "to express what was old as old and what was new as new."

Period construction techniques were used to restore the superstructure of the barn, which is made up of new timbers, as well as timber salvaged from the original barn. The restoration was made possible with a $5 million grant from the Helen and Will Webster Foundation.

The barn reopened to the public on Sept. 12, 2015. Headquarters of the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, the facility has become a popular site for campus gatherings, weddings, and special events.