John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum
The museum, which opened in 2015, has as its mission to educate visitors about the history of tractor and engine design and manufacturing in Iowa's Cedar Valley. It offers a diverse range of exhibits that appeals not only to farmers, but to past and present John Deere employees and
non-Deere outsiders with an affinity for the history of agricultural production in Iowa.
RKLA worked as part of a multi-disciplinary design team in the development of the museum campus, beginning with the initial master planning process and carrying through to final design and implementation. A challenge for RKLA was to gracefully accommodate the grade transition from the parking lot to a lower main entrance. The site design utilizes a rich blend of pavers and ornamental grasses and stone organized into rows which tie the site to the building architecture and recall the agricultural theme of the museum. Monolithic curbs and contemporary lighting and site furniture complete the clean, high-tech look of the landscape. Bioswales planted with ornamental grasses filter storm water runoff and contribute to the agrarian character and theme.