Wallflower: Food Play


Valia Puente

ARCH 501

The premise of the project was to re-see ordinary space through the exploration of grocery stores coupled with a secondary, public program. We were to challenge programmatic norms in a meaningful way to re-imagine the participation and relevance of grocery stores in our everyday lives as they can extend beyond the necessary and the expected.

Food Play, a grocery store-daycare hybrid, focuses on a typically overlooked user in grocery stores, children. Located at the intersection of Oak St and W 67th Ave, Vancouver, Food Play perceives the lack of childcare in this suburban area and subsequent need for a community grocery store. The union of these two seemingly unrelated programs addresses the site's needs.  Through the exploration of adult and children circulation and playful wall systems that allowed for both users to operate the space, the design was able to respond to the needs and patterns of both users. The curved walls delineate spatial requirements for both programs: they create a welcoming vivid space for children while allowing shoppers to enjoy the space and shop. The weaving of wall heights allows for spaces to be visually connected, enforcing ideas of security regarding children. The playful walls act as shelving for grocery products and also, perforations for play and sitting.  The result is a series of spatial “pockets” for the gathering of children and a non-orthogonal circulation for shoppers to engage with groceries.