The question: how to grow without leaving a downtown location that’s already maxed out? That was the challenge for the Community Food Co-op, whose commitment to economic resiliency includes making both grocery and gathering spaces available within walking or biking distance for downtown residents.
The answer: think campus—maintain accessibility by making the building across the street work for the Co-op. While the old automotive structure didn’t follow the “what makes a good downtown building” recipe, RMC’s solid-void design approach mitigates its flaws (blank walls, aloof presence) and celebrates its best features (warehouse form, elemental materials) with a welcoming new presence that now meets the street. The project includes a bakery kitchen, bakery retail space, classroom/community room, and office space. The new Connections Building is a people place that supports the Co-op’s sustainability and program goals, while contributing to an increasingly vital corridor at downtown’s edge.