Architecture Student

Community Center for Urban Agriculture

C O M M U N I T Y  C E N T E R  F O R  U R B A N  A G R I C U L T U R E

fall | 2014

The Community Center for Urban Agriculture, located in Larimer, Pittsburgh, PA, was designed to invite the community to come together and share agricultural knowledge. The site sits across from an elementary school, but the school is entirely fenced off. The school is not welcoming to the students attending and does not promote the strong sense of community that the Center is hoping to promote. Taking inspiration from this negative fence designed to keep people out, my design for the Community Center incorporates a positive, green fence that welcomes people into the multiple thresholds of the Center. 

The project offers overlapping, layered spaces for the different programs, drawing the user deeper into the center of the site and blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor. New programmatic spaces are added to the Center to create a more dynamic space, drawing users outside into the garden, and as a way of connecting the existing aspects of the defined program. An outdoor eating area overlaps the market and the outreach kitchen. An outdoor amphitheater blurs the boundary between the storage space and the outreach program. Finally, the greenhouse connects the storage to the market, and outdoor planting beds connect everything in the center.

water color diagrams

All aspects of the Center are connected along the fence, allowing for easy circulation and further blurring the boundaries between the separate programs. There are three main entrances where the fence peels apart and welcomes users to enter the space. Following the path along the fence, visitors pass through the different programmatic spaces along the way, until they end up at the heart of the site where the planter beds are located.