Mt. Hope Farms Culinary Center
-Bristol , RI
Initially the sites main programmatic spaces were grouped closely and hectically. Our first design move was to order the site by breaking it down into three different bars of program labeled working, historic, and community. We then overlaid a grid with the addition of vertical bars that worked to determine smaller program spaces throughout the site. Each of these smaller zones were programmed relating to the larger bar zones. Circulation on the site was determined by where these zones interact, using horizontal grid lines as a guide for vehicular paths, and the vertical for footpaths. This resulted in two main vehicle entrances that run from the front of the site to the back, providing assess to the different programmatic spaces while avoiding congestion on the site, as well as pathways that join all of these program zones by foot. These zones resulted in the proposition of new site features sch as an expanded working farm on the north bar, a culinary center on the minimally used south pasture adjacent to the main road, and a community center on the open filed at the southeast corner of the site, as well as a focus on preserving the historical buildings and land forms currently in place.
The proposed design is a culinary center located on the southwest quadrant of the site, as well as community farm plots and working orchard that the center would serve. The culinary center itself is made up of two buildings, the first an exhibition greenhouse that could double as a gathering space for the existing farmers markets during inclement weather, and the second a more developed structure housing the main programmatic spaces of the center. Those being a processing area, leading into a working / learning kitchen that would serve a restaurant at the far side of the buildings. In conjunction with the exhibition hall these programmatic spaces are meant to work as an assembly line of farm to table, exemplifying the main ideals of the farm itself.
The building was also designed with sustainability heavily in mind. The large portion of the roof that is south facing provides opportunity for the use of photovoltaics, as well as water collection for crop irrigation. The minimal east and west facade as well as vertical shading devices on the east and west and horizontal on the north and south work to better mitigate and control heat-gain during the extreme winters and summers.