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 building economic resiliency includes making its groceries and gathering spaces available within walking or biking distance for downtown residents.
The answer? Think campus: make the building across the street work for the Co-op, and make downtown work a little better in the process. 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 Connections Building is a new people place that supports the Co-op’s sustainability and program goals, while contributing to an increasingly vital corridor at downtown’s edge.