Honor Award Winner

Project Name:  Horseshoe Bay Farm Master Plan 
Location:  Egg Harbor, Wisconsin
Design Team:  TEN x TEN

Located in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, Horseshoe Bay Farms is an exceptionally intact 8.5 acre historic agricultural campus originally constructed as a showcase of innovation and efficiency. The landscape architect-led team helped a newly formed non-profit develop a mission and vision for their organization and transitioned their focus from a nostalgic, niche endeavor to a forward-thinking, community-centered cultural institution. 

The team created a road map for a shared vision through extensive community engagement, historic research, and field investigation. The Masterplan process concluded by delivering a toolkit with resources that range from a branding package to a feasible implementation plan. 

Since 1917, productive land along the shores of Green Bay has been home to Horseshoe Bay Farms, formerly Murphy Farms. The Farm is listed on the National & State Register of Historic Places for its prominence in the development of Door County - both in the agricultural industry and as a civic landmark. The farm sits within land originally inhabited by the Potawatomi, Menominee, Odawa (Ottawa), Sauk, Ojibwe, Petun, and Huron peoples.

Horseshoe Bay Farms, Inc. (HSBF) is a 501(c)(3) that was created by a group of passionate neighbors who donated the funds for purchase and refurbishment of the property in November 2018. In 2019 HSBF hired a landscape-led multidisciplinary planning team, including a landscape architect, architect, architectural historian, and business/operations consultant, to help shape the future of the Farm.

Through visioning workshops with the HSBF board and a volunteer Technical Advisory Group, the planning team helped HSBF to define mission and vision statements, and created six guiding principles to help shape future decisions and priorities for the institution. The planning team created (and later facilitated) an engagement tool kit which allowed HSBF to invest significant resources towards connecting with stakeholders and the community. Through in-person meetings, community events held on the campus, and an online engagement platform hosting a survey and interactive map, the engagement process reached approximately 1,000 individuals, an unprecedented level of outreach and participation for Door County. The design team also engaged the site with a variety of inventory methods to help catalog and define the character of the site.

Through the visioning process with the design team and input from the community, Horseshoe Bay Farms (HSBF) redefined itself as is a Center for Sustainable Stewardship serving the Door County community as a center of learning and culture, and as a hub for innovation and exchange of stewardship practices. The Farm will teach by example the principles of care for the site, land, and history. Three main focus areas of the plan are Sustainable Activation, Re-Experiencing the Farm and Measured Implementation.

The design team thought critically about how to reactivate and reprogram the farmstead through a variety of methods both inside and outside. Strategies range from experimental farming plots and community agriculture, to pollinator meadows, biofiltration meadows, rainwater catchment systems, and solar array energy production. History, culture, and community are celebrated year-round through gatherings of varying sizes and themes. With its many flexible outdoor gathering areas, the campus easily supports both large outdoor events and smaller private events or celebrations.  The indoor spaces within the barns also include event spaces of varying sizes and scales, many of which connect seamlessly to the landscape areas beyond, creating dynamic indoor/outdoor spaces. 

Connecting visitors deeply to the site was also critical to the design and planning of HSBF. The new walking trails invite visitors to explore the unique characteristics and features of Door County, including its cultural history, geology, and ecology. The trails move walkers through a diverse range of experiences including forests, meadows, gardens of varying sizes, experimental agricultural plots, intimate terraces and courtyards, and open lawns with picturesque views. Visitors learn about the intertwined history of production, place, and the people who lived and worked at HSBF through interactive features and informative and inventive signage.