Architecture for a Regional Food System: A Food Hub for the Beacon Hill Neighborhood
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Throughout the history of civilization there has been a close and mutually beneficial relationship between food and cities. However due to industrialization of our contemporary food network the tangible connections to food that were once present in the urban landscape have been lost. Supermarkets have replaced the public market, the traditional site for local production and social engagement within the urban landscape. As the main point of connection with consumers of our current system, food retailers have contributed to the opaqueness of food networks and isolated city residents from the food that sustains them. Furthermore, these changes between the tangibility and transparency of food within the contemporary urban landscape have also deteriorated the public spaces As a renewed desire for tangible connections with food continues to gain hold within urban communities, new approaches to the way in which the food engages with the city have emerged. One model that has recently gained attention is the food hub. Although these emerging models address rising desire by customers to engage in local food networks these facilities still reflect the typology of the modern supermarket. In order to appropriate the food hub for the urban scale and renew the market as a site for social engagement this thesis proposes a network of neighborhood based food hubs for Seattle, focusing on the design of a food hub for the Beacon Hill neighborhood. The goals for such a food hub will be to engage the community by deriving its program from the existing and desired elements within the community.This thesis will improve the quality of public space by providing opportunity for social engagement on multiple of scales, as well as unify food production with consumer through a multifaceted neighborhood facility. The thesis explores how food and architecture can be used to create a place specific design that supports a local food system and social engagement within an urban community.
- Architecture