Blanca in the spotlight of Harvard University GSD


Blanca from The Pyrenees’ designer was awarded for his proposal ‘Domesticated Grounds: Design and Domesticity Within Animal Farming Systems’. The Wheelwright Prize will allow him to investigate proposes to look at animal farming/food production and domestication by investigating design in its various responsibilities, and offer some alternatives to a massive global agriculture industry and its impact on the land.

Focusing on different kinds of agricultural structures in a range of geographical and historical contexts, to construct a field of reference and to reinterpret these elements to create a framework for 21st-century agricultural architecture.

Blanca in the spotlight of Harvard University GSD         | Blanca from the Pyrenees

‘In April, the jury awarded special mention to seven finalists, hailing from Barcelona, London, Zagreb, Chicago, Tokyo, and Ho chi Minh city. After a second stage of deliberation, the jury selected Jose M. Ahedo and his proposal, 'Domesticated Grounds: design and domesticity Within Animal Farming systems', which focuses on the architectural and organizational models of animal farming. Noting that livestock is a significant cause of land degradation, greenhouse gas emissions, social friction, and problematic development worldwide, Ahedo proposes to research a wide range of practices, from industrial operations driven by “techno-capitalist policies” to informal or vernacular farms that have grown out of traditions. “These two distinct production modes coexist in both developed and developing countries,” Ahedo writes in his essay, observing that neither responds adequately to the innumerable environmental and social challenges related to animal farming today.

The jury praised Ahedo’s proposal for its integrated approach to a broad range of issues, and for his clarity in identifying architecture and design’s potential to shape more sustainable models of production for a global mega-industry. He proposes to travel to Taranaki, New Zealand, Mongolia, Germany and Hainan Island in China. The $100,000 grant will fund Ahedo’s research over the next two years.’



‘Ahedo was born and raised on a dairy farm. In 2010, he established StudioAhedo in Barcelona and immediately began designing Blanca, a dairy farm in the Pyrenees. As part of his work for Blanca, Ahedo also served as a consultant, advising on the company’s positioning. At Blanca, the educational center (Green Unit) offers high-end education to farmers. In essence, the center is a plinth with four exterior spaces—two classrooms, a reception area, and a conference room—with a canopy roof. The building emphasizes outdoor space and its relation to the surrounding landscape. The four volumes are made of simple concrete masonry walls, and the entire “campus” is topped by an expansive roof made of steel and corrugated metal sheets. Interiors are paneled with acoustic oak.’

'The Blanca Team' is very happy for his great achivement and proud to have been part of the project. We wish him the best for the next two years and will offer full support for his investigation from our Dairy Hub.

Blanca from The Pyrenees

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