Downtown Providence Farmers Market Design

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Downtown Providence Farmers Market Design
Community Partner: The Providence Redevelopment Agency
Academic Partner: The School of Architecture, Art
and Historic Preservation
Spring 2014

The Roger Williams University Community Partnerships Center

The Roger Williams University (RWU) Community Partnerships Center (CPC) provides projectbased assistance to non-profit organizations, government agencies and low- and moderate-income communities in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. Our mission is to undertake and complete projects that will benefit the local community while providing RWU students with experience in real-world projects that deepen their academic experiences.
CPC projects draw upon the skills and experience of students and faculty from RWU programs in areas such as:
• American Studies • Architecture and Urban Design • Business • Community Development • Education • Engineering and Construction Management • Environmental Science and Sustainability • Finance

• Graphic Design • Historic Preservation • History • Justice Studies • Law • Marketing and Communications • Political Science • Psychology • Public Administration • Public Relations • Sustainable Studies • Visual Arts and Digital Media • Writing Studies
Community partnerships broaden and deepen the academic experiences of RWU students by allowing them to work on real-world projects, through curriculum-based and service-learning opportunities collaborating with non-profit and community leaders as they seek to achieve their missions. The services provided by the CPC would normally not be available to these organizations due to their cost and/or diverse needs.

CPC Project Disclaimer: The reader shall understand the following in regards to this project report:
1. The Project is being undertaken in the public interest.
2. The deliverables generated hereunder are intended to provide conceptual information only to assist design and planning and such are not intended, nor should they be used, for construction or other project implementation. Furthermore, professional and/or other services may be needed to ultimately implement the desired goals of the public in ownership of the project served.
3. The parties understand, agree and acknowledge that the deliverables being provided hereunder are being performed by students who are not licensed and/or otherwise certified as professionals. Neither RWU nor the CPC makes any warranties or guarantees ex-

pressed or implied, regarding the deliverables provided pursuant to this Agreement and the quality thereof, and Sponsor should not rely on the assistance as constituting professional advice. RWU, the CPC, the faculty mentor, and the students involved are not covered by professional liability insurance.
4. Neither RWU, the CPC, the faculty mentor, nor the students involved assume responsibility or liability for the deliverables provided hereunder or for any subsequent use by sponsor or other party and Sponsor agrees to indemnify and hold harmless RWU, the Center, the Faculty Mentor, and the Center’s student against any and all claims arising out of Sponsor’s utilization, sale, or transfer of deliverables provided under this Agreement.
Community Partnerships Center Roger Williams University One Old Ferry Road Bristol, RI 02809 [email protected]

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Table of Contents
Introduction.............................................. 4 Methodology............................................. 5 Site Analysis............................................... 6 Precedent Studies....................................... 7 Suggestions for Success............................ 11 Design Options....................................... 12 Conclusion.............................................. 48

Kate Ford presents her design ideas to the Providence Redevelopment Agency Steering Committee.
Team Members: Lindsay Dansereau | Matthew Eckel | Kate Ford | Joanna Grocott | Tyler Harriott | Zachary Nelson | Amanda O’Malley | Jessica Palmer | David Sanchez | Eric Schall | Sarah Thompson Faculty: Visiting Architect Anthony Piermarini of Studio Luz in Boston ARCH 515 - Graduate Architectural Design Studio CPC Staff Researchers: Matthew Eckel | Lindsay Guastafeste
Thank you to the members of the Steering Committee at the Providence Redevelopment Agency for your guidance and support of this project: Angel Tavares – Mayor, The City of Providence | Don Gralnek – Executive Director | Sherry Griffith – Farm Fresh Rhode Island | Lucy Searl – Farm Fresh Rhode Island | Kenneth Levy – Johnson & Wales University | John Bowen – Johnson & Wales University | Cliff Wood – Providence Foundation | Kenneth Ayars – State of Rhode Island D.E.M | Jan Brodie – I - 195 Redevelopment District Commission | Arnold Robinson – Roger Williams University

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In the fall of 2013, The Providence Redevelopment Authority (PRA) applied to the Roger Williams University Center for Community Partnerships (RWU CPC) for a project to explore the programming, siting and design of a food center facility on land under the control of the I-195 Commission. The PRA application was selected, and the project was undertaken by the RWU School of Architecture Art and Historic Preservation.
Led by visiting faculty of Studio Luz Architects of Boston, MA, the Arch 515 Graduate Design Studio was a 15-week intensive investigation of ephemeral architecture and development of an urban food market for the City of Providence. The studio explored ideas as a partnership between the RWU CPC and key members of the Providence community devoted to bringing a market to the area.
Students had an opportunity to inform the future planning and design of a new urban market space, which may contribute to the revitalization of the downtown Providence area. Students met with a steering committee once a month to discuss the development of their proposals, engage with real community concerns and create new dialogue about food, city life and design. This committee was made up of prominent citizens, members of Farm Fresh and institutional representatives as well as state and city officials who have signifi-

cant influence in the development of the area. This committee served as a tremendous resource for the group with insights into the culture, market and political forces operating on any publicly sponsored venue. The goal of the studio was to study the viability of an open urban market for Providence as well as to explore architecture that is intended to be temporary, ephemeral and highly adaptive to changing programmatic constraints.
Studio Premise
Many cities are searching for ways to bring locally grown and organically produced food to areas where there is a lack of access to healthy alternatives. Urban marketplaces often become venues that can host a variety of farmers including produce, meats, poultry, fish, dairy, chocolates, baked goods, soaps, herbs, spices, arts and crafts, and household services. The studio challenge was to understand how these ephemeral and temporary markets may be injected into a community and thrive. How does one determine the most relevant and effective site for these civic and commercial endeavors? What impacts and effects do temporary buildings have on a community? Can they serve to foster community interaction and develop a sense of place? How does architecture and urban design engage with a growing “locavore” culture and its associated events?

Proposed market plaza perspective by Amanda O’Malley.
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Students met with the Providence Food Center Steering Committee each month throughout the semester for a total of five meetings. These meetings followed the progress of the studio and gave the committee a range of options and issues to explore in their evaluation of the project. The results of the studio are a combination of community and pedagogical goals, ensuring that the educational value of the studio was paramount. This insistence on intellectual rigor inspired the steering committee and moved the conversation to help realize the full potential for the project.
The studio was broken down into various phases of investigation culminating in well-developed proposals with full-scale mock-ups and installations at the RWU School of Architecture gallery.

Phase 1
Precedent Studies Students researched and cataloged markets of various forms and scales from around the world. The result is an interesting cross-section of market types that speak directly to the cultural and socio-economic roots of the region.
Phase 2
Site Mapping: Making Camp Students developed analytical maps that revealed the urban systems operating at the scale of the region and local urban environment. This macro/micro analysis allowed the group to evaluate sites with the greatest potential for development. There were initially four sites established by the steering committee, and, based on the student’s

work, certain sites were eliminated and a new site added. Most parcels were provided by the I-95 Commission; however one was a City of Providence-owned parcel. Students produced master plan strategies for all of the sites given by the Providence Food Center Steering Committee in order to arrive at two preferred parcels.
Phase 3
Tectonics: Prototype Vendor Stand This is where students explored the logic of assemblies and architecture as a construction craft — to use a Kenneth Frampton reference. The studio researched material properties (how they behave, how are they detailed) as well as assembly processes for different constructs and then observed how the implied detail can motivate a response to program and site. Students designed prototype

vendor stands that could produce logical variations, i.e. be adaptable to various vendors and be aggregated into a larger holistic organization.
Artifact Deployment The results of the experiments with tectonics were scaled up, aggregated and recomposed into a larger architectural construction. This helped to define the programmatic agenda as well as organize the site. In conjunction with the development of a project thesis, students developed a full program document that further refined their understanding of the food market and the potential of the site(s) to support the nuances of the program. Students were encouraged to use combinations of parametric formal systems and ready-made components.
Phase 4
Building Synthesis and Installation Design In this phase, students focused on a more holistic response to the city, the site, the program and their process. Each student designed a presentation that was to be considered an extension of the experience and construction logics of their design proposal. It is an installation that grounds itself in the conceptual and material realities of the design as proposed. The presentation integrated models, drawings, text and infographics relevant to the design. Elements of the market module and other systems were built full scale as part of the presentation.

Proposed market section by Eric Schall.

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Site Analysis
The Providence Redevelopment Agency proposed four sites in downtown Providence. Each of the sites is currently owned by the Redevelopment Agency. Three of the sites fall within the I-195 Redevelopment District with the other located in the Capital Center area. Additional sites were also included as perspective areas of study along the I-195 corridor.

1. Map of site #9.
2. Map showing sites 1 through 4 as proposed by the Providence Redevelopment Agency.

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Precedent Studies

The Pop-Up Market
Description: The pop-up market is generally organized by local groups with minimal municipal support. They are characterized as places where small vendors can set up a simple tent and display tables of goods. Pop-up markets are highly mobile with a small footprint. The vendors are expected to bring everything they need to the market; very little is provided by the organizers other than schedule and location. Some are augmented with local music, arts or events if space allows.

Hours: Varies
Avg. Vendor Stall: 10x10’ or 10x30’ if tailgate style market.
Site Conditions: Roadside, open green space, urban park, parking lot.
Shelter: Tents and canopies installed by vendors during hours of operation.
Infrastructure: Plug-in power from lamp posts, generators and vendor-provided power source or none. Portable toilets may be present.

vendors depending on their needs and based on climate, aesthetics or stall layout. Modular markets are adaptable to different sites and configurations within a big city or small town.
Scale: 1-20 vendors; small to medium.
Hours: Varies.

Scale: Small to extra-large (varies).

Funding Structure: Vendor rent w/ supplemental public support.

Avg. Vendor Stall: 10x10’


Precedent Projects: Roslindale Village Farm- Site Conditions: Roadside, open green space,


ers Market; Millarville Farmers Market; Chatham urban park, alleyways, parking lots, underutilized

Borough Farmers Market; Coventry Regional urban spaces. Sites are exploited for unique quali-

Farmers Market; Lewiston Farmers Market; New ties and inspire the market display.

Orleans Wine and Food Experience; Muscoot Farmers Market; Union Square; Surfer’s Paradise; Aquidneck; Mt. Hope Market; Colt State Park Market.

Shelter: Semi-permanent stalls that remain on site for vendors to use.
Infrastructure: Plug-in power from municipal-

ity or vendor-provided power source. Rare cases of

The Modular Market

portable toilets or public bathroom facilities. Funding Structure: Vendor rent with public

Description: Modular markets are usually struc- support.

tured for flexibility and organization. Modules organize the floor plan, the structure or both. Modular units are usually deployed and customized by

Precedent Projects: Seine River Market Stalls; Greenmarket; Artist’s Colony Market.

1. The Mount Hope Farmers Market in Bristol, RI, is held inside an existing barn during winter.
2. The summer Millarville Market in Alberta, Canada has more than 160 vendors.
3. Green Markets (movable) stalls in the Czech Republic.
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The Destination Warehouse Market

The Production/ Distribution

Precedent Projects: Boston Flower Market; Johnson’s Roadside Market.

Description: Destination warehouse markets utilize a structure as market shelter. These structures can be long span roofs, a collection of roof canopies or even old renovated buildings. Sometimes the buildings are pre-existing; other times they are built specifically to house a market. Destination warehouse markets range from semienclosed to completely enclosed, depending on

Avg. Vendor Stall: Range 10x10’ - 20x20’
Site Conditions: Adjacent to parking or public transit; central to community.

Description: This market means business. This is where commercial fishermen and other farmers sell their products for wholesale prices to restaurants, grocery stores and other markets to the highest bidder. The markets are usually in industrial areas

The Franchise Market
Description: A franchise market is a chain of the same market with various locations all over the world. They typically have some theme that influences what they sell, whether it is organic products or a specific cultural food. Franchises are good because customers are familiar with the brand and

1. Santa Caterina Market in Barcelona, Spain was once a convent and was refurbished in 2005.
2. Mercado de Picos in Puebla, Mexico has an iconic exterior design.


Shelter: Long span roof, collection of roof cano- near major transportation networks and water- know that the products are trustworthy.

pies, semi-enclosed/enclosed, passive heating and cooling.

fronts within big warehouses where the product is displayed and bid on. The market operates 24/7

Scale: Medium to large.

Infrastructure: All utilities are on on-site and

but business hours are usually only during the morning unless they also serve as a food market.

Hours: Generally 8 a.m.- 10 p.m.

provided for vendors as part of the base building. Scale: Large, wholesale vendors, local farm with Avg. Vendor Stall: N/A

the type of structure. All utilities are on-site as part Funding Structure: Vendor rents.

retail area.


of the base of the building and are provided for both vendors and customers. These buildings are

Precedent Projects: Torvehallerne Market;

Hours: Normal business hours – 24 hrs/day.

very flexible and allow for a multitude of vendors

Delicious Orchard; Columbus Farmers Market; Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers Market; Mercato

Avg. Vendor Stall: N/A

and events: there are upwards of 20 vendors who each rent their own individual stall/space. Since

Centrale Di San Lorenzo; West Side Market; Mercado Alimentare Santambrogio; Kariakoo Market;

Site Conditions: Industrial districts, water-

they are semi-enclosed or enclosed, they are open Abergavenny Food Festival; Santa Caterina Mar- fronts, proximity to shipping or freight train.

seven days a week, year-round. These markets are central to community life function.

ket; Barceloneta; Great Market; Mercado de Picos.

Shelter: Warehouse facility.

3. Marche Movenpick is a franchise market/ restaurant with locations all over the world.

Scale: 20+ vendors; medium to large.

Infrastructure: Utilities on site.

Hours: 7 days a week

Funding Structure: Wholesale.

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Site Conditions: Retail commercial spaces, urban or suburban. Shelter: Permanent facility. Infrastructure: All utilities on site. Funding Structure: Structured by franchise corporation. Precedent Projects: Eataly; Marche Movenpick.

The Industrial Hybrid Market
Description: This market essentially combines a marketplace with an existing or new industrial building. The hybrid created results in space that has daily retail sales and hours, as well as other goods available at other times. The industrial aspect typically acts as the anchor, as the market’s activities help attract a different group of consumers at other business times. An example of this would be a seafood supply warehouse that also provides dining and entertainment as a nightlife destination.
Scale: Medium to large.
Hours: 24/7 seasonal.
Avg. Vendor Stall: Varies.
Site Conditions: Industrial districts, waterfront.
Shelter: Large complexes divided up by different vendors.

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Funding Structure: Wholesale, retail.
Precedent Projects: Aquidneck Lobster Market/Lobster Bar; Tokyo Metro Central.
The Super Hybrid Market
Description: The super hybrid market is generally organized by a large group and typically requires municipal and/ or private support. This market has a very large footprint, permanent vendors and is often combined with housing, offices, shopping

centers and other public facilities. These additional programmatic spaces help to support the public market. Residents and workers are likely to become regular market consumers. It is this sustainability that distinguishes the super hybrid market from other market types.
Scale: Extra large.
Hours: N/A
Avg. Vendor Stall: 10x10’ - 10x20’
Site Conditions: Housed within or among other building types.
Shelter: Super hybrid markets are large permanent structures, which allow for the infrastructural support of the various programmatic functions of the building.
Infrastructure: On-site utilities.
Funding Structure: Tenant rent.
Precedent Projects: Rotterdam Market Hall.

1. Newport, Rhode Island’s Aquidneck Lobster Company is an example of the industrial hybrid market.
2. The new Rotterdam Market Hall in the Netherlands combines food, leisure, living and parking in one building.

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The Bazaar Market

Site Conditions: Located within cities, sometimes taking up entire neighborhoods.

The Pavilion Market

Description: A bazaar is a permanent enclosed marketplace or a street of shops where goods and services are exchanged or sold. The term bazaar is also sometimes used to refer to an open-air mar-

Shelter: Small, street-side shops, large complexes divided up by different vendors or a combination of the two.

Description: Pavilion markets typically consist of an open-walled building in which vendors purchase a space to sell their products. Visitors get the feeling of being under cover, while at the same

ketplace, a commercial quarter or the network of merchants and craftsmen who work in that area.
Scale: Large.
Hours: 6-7 days a week.
Avg. Vendor Stall: Varies.

Infrastructure: All utilities are on-site and provided for vendors as a part of the base building. In some cases there may not be any utilities at all.
Funding Structure: Vendor rents.
Precedent Projects: Grand Bazaar; Chor Bazaar; Panjiayuan Jiuhuo Shichang; Khan el-Khalili

time being outdoors. The scale is usually small to medium size, with the number of vendors inside varying. The markets can be open daily or once a week seasonally.
Scale: Small to medium.
Hours: Varies.



Avg. Vendor Stall: 10x10’



Site Conditions: Located within a city, not tak-

ing up much space. Almost like an icon within a


Shelter: Overhead roof canopy with open walls on all sides.

Infrastructure: Some plug-in power may be provided on site. In some cases, there are portable toilets or public bathroom facilities.

Funding Structure: Vendor rents.

Precedent Projects: Covington Farmers Market; Alemany Farmers Market; Putnam Saturday Farmers Market; Besiktas Fish Market.

1. Panjiayuan Jiuhuo Schichang in Beijing, China is a vast outdoor weekend market.
2. Khan El-Khalili Bazaar in Cairo, Egypt has been in constant use since the 14th century.
3. The pavilion-style Besiktas Fishmarket in Istanbul, Turkey.
4. Covington Farmers Market in Virginia is an open plaza beneath a covered structure.

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Downtown Providence Farmers Market Design