‘Stocking the City’ is an architectural strategy for scaling-up the regional food system in the Bay Area. Despite an exponential increase in consumer demand for ‘local’ food, direct distribution models like farmers markets and CSAs remain an insignificant fragment of total retail food sales in California. This is due in part to the limited infrastructure currently in place to support these systems. A system of physical hubs that operate as hybrid wholesale/retail farmers markets could begin to connect the disparate parts of this system.
The physical proposal illustrated here is designed to be the pilot project for this system. Located adjacent to the West Oakland Bart station to take advantage of the confluence of various modes of transportation networks, the market is intended to function at 3 scales: as a retail food store for the West Oakland neighborhood (which currently lacks even a basic grocery store); a commercial and cultural center for the city of Oakland; and a distribution hub and research center for the larger foodshed.
The organizational structure of the proposed market borrows from several precedent typologies that I investigated while traveling on the Branner fellowship in 2012. It combines elements of wholesale markets and neighborhood retail markets while facilitating pop-up events like weekend farmers markets and food-truck events.