Project : Culinary Institute / Urban Farm
Location : Bronx, NY
The Bronx is currently confronted with an Urban Paradox; inner city neighborhoods which typically facilitate active and healthier lifestyles are producing a trend of factors leading to a negative impact on health and well being. In our individualistic culture, the consumer has control over their dietary choices; given they have adequate options. In recent years, there has been overwhelming evidence of increased rates of diabetes and obesity in the Bronx. Poor planning and the lack of fresh markets coupled with poverty have only exacerbated this growing outbreak. In an effort to reverse current trends and
promote health / wellness in the South Bronx, the aim is to create a driver to revitalize a once thriving area and the health of its residents.
How can architecture create an environment that accelerates personal responsibility and awareness?
While the project is not intended to reverse a cultural habit, it is intended to create an open environment for the exchange and education of culinary arts. As a hybrid of program within in the facility, the public will be encouraged to participate as a means of interaction with the school. The program will host a public market, lectures and demonstrations as well as health related services.
Located adjacent to the South Bronx HS, as well as several other institutions, the opportunity arises to create a vocational program to supplement the missing needs of these schools. Providing extra facilities and programs will allow for a more productive educational environment that is shared among the community and may increase dietary awareness as a foundation for more sustainable and health conscious choices.
Based upon site adjacencies, the facility will integrate a small urban farm, in an effort to define an element of social cohesion in the neighborhood. The produce obtained from the site may also be used with NYC Green Cart Suppliers. This will allow more options and circulate more nutritious food throughout the South Bronx. In the Urban environment, this thesis will aim to establish an embedded networking of institutional and food retail relationships. Collaboration among program, built environment, and urban context is key in diffusing awareness at the scale of the neighborhood.