Beardsley Education Center

Beardsley Community Farm’s new Education Center was designed and built by University of Tennessee architecture students and faculty in collaboration with Elizabeth Eason Architecture to serve the non-profit urban farm.

Beardsley Community Farm promotes food security and sustainable agriculture through education and community outreach. They have operated out of a public park in an urban neighborhood for 18+ years, making do with very limited resources. The new Education Center includes interior spaces for a multipurpose classroom, administrative offices, and accessible toilets. The design minimized the enclosed and conditioned footprint. Additionally, sheltered exterior spaces were provided.  The outdoor spaces include a welcome center, outdoor classroom, mudroom for vegetable washing, and a modest amphitheater facing the park.

Design-build teaching and learning is an innovative approach to educating architects and making architecture.

Simple materials consisting of local brick, sealed concrete, wood trusses and sustainable plywood were used throughout the building.  Plenty of operable windows and double doors allow the farm staff to turn off the mechanical systems and enjoy fresh air and breeze both indoors and outside under the covered patio.  The Beardsley Community Farm project was an opportunity to deeply focus on aspects of design, craft, and community.

The project itself will stand as a continuing tool for community engagement for many years to come.

Our design intent was to create architecture that facilitates the Farm’s outreach mission by making a place for community engagement. Comprehensive issues of sustainability and craft were critical, as was the emphasis on contributing to public space. An academically-driven design-build model allowed the project to be completed at a high level of design for minimal project funds. The project itself will stand as a continuing tool for community engagement for many years to come.

Design Team

Elizabeth Eason Architecture LLC., Architect
UT School of Architecture, Student Designers
Facility Systems Consultants, Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Engineers
Mallia Engineering, Structural Engineer
Will Robinson Associates, Civil Engineering