Architectural Design Works
22 West Allegheny Ave., Suite 301
Towson, MD 21204

Government & Institutional: Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation Headquarters

Client Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation
Location Swan Harbor
Cost $300,000
Size 2,000 SF ±
Completion 2000

The Maryland Agriculural Education Foundation, searching for a Harford County location for their new headquarters and teaching classroom, selected ADW on a referral from a number of prominent local agricultural supporters. After a few sites that fell thru, they settled in on the Swan Harbor Farm, at the time recently purchased by Harford County. The ± 250 acre farm master planned with water fowl sanctuary, conference, wedding venue, amphitheater and fields still leased to local farmers. A site was selected adjacent to some existing barns near the historic manor house. ADW capitalized on the rich history of the farm. It was owned by John Ludlum a good friend of Thomas Jefferson, and was also an avid vitner. In fact the Catanba grape originated here and there are vines at Monticello that John sent President Jefferson.

The Exterior of the new building mimics adjacent barns and features an entrance courtyard with flanking urns that have Catawba vines growing up a decorative trellis. The courtyard has donor bricks of patrons and stamped “plant fossils” to reinforce the message of their work. As one enters, barn doors and carriage lanterns soften the restrooms facilities shared with the park and an event board sets a welcome tone. To the left are the foundations offices with vaulted ceilings, exposed ductwork, and “street post lamps” Integrated with half walls with wood caps to create the feel of 18th century paddock. The opposite end of the building accommodates their teaching classroom, an outreach program to educate teachers from around the state on agriculture so that they can go back to their classrooms and teach our children about this rich history. Standing in this open vaulted ceiling space, windows are located to provide a panoramic view of the whole farm. A feature French door combination at the end of the room, frames views of test plantings for the classes (not to mention the deer and other wildlife). In addition, counter tops are made from compressed soy beans.

ADW provided a significant amount of its services probono for this very tight budget project, and truly worthy cause. Next time you receive your Maryland Drivers license renewal please remember and support their work by purchasing the Maryland Agricultural Plates.

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"A large part of ADW's fees were donated to this foundation to help teach children about the importance of agriculture." —Paul Thompson, ADW


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