Designing a Grass-to-Gate Robotic Dairy

Designed by Bosske, Bannister Downs Dairy in Northcliffe, Western Australia, is the only planned grass-to-gate dairy in the world, combining state-of-the-art technology with rural tradition

Combining robotic milking, processing, bottling and packaging facilities alongside administration and other support facilities, the recently completed Bannister Downs Dairy is the only planned grass-to-gate facility in the world.

Designed by Bosske Architecture, the scheme reflects the nature of the business – a family owned, traditional operation using state-of-the-art production – with a design that plays on the traditional Australian shed profile, twisting it to create a dramatic elevation that intersects with the surrounding landscape. 

The façade features red annodised panels that shift in colour throughout the day, cycling the building’s appearance through deep red and purples through to a shining gold. These are also used to form sun shading, reducing the need for artificial cooling.

The dairy itself uses robotic milking machines to facilitate voluntary milking, and is part of a linear sequence of rooms that form the entire production line. Throughout the process, each area is viewable from the surrounding space, supporting the dairy’s goal of transparency in its operations.

Sustainability has also been central to the project, with water collection, storage and re-use integrated into the design. The building also hosts a 100KW array of roof-mounted solar panels to provide much of the required energy.