Food for the City: DC AIA’s “Your City, Your Architects”
NEWS | DECEMBER 2016
Washington, District of Columbia
“Proximity between people’s homes and where they procure their food is similar no matter where you are on this planet,” explained associate Neville Fernandes at the start of MV+A’s “Food for the City” presentation. Over 40 industry professionals came to our downtown DC office for MV+A’s take on DC AIA’s “Your City, Your Architects” series, where different architecture firms in the DC region expand on their particular expertise and understanding of the city’s architectural environment. Beginning with Neville’s experience growing up in India, where the market/home relationship is intensely personal, our architects explained what we have come to understand about grocery and retail design as catalysts for neighborhood development.
Whether Tyson’s West‘s Walmart-anchored semi-urban center, 77 H Street’s fully urban Walmart with residences above, the Tivoli Square renovation, or one of over fifty MV+A designed Whole Foods Market stores, understanding the key elements of urban grocery and retail allows developments to gain traction and catalyze further growth. Six of our architects collaborated on the presentation, explaining considerations such as the impact of parking/street configurations, the challenges of designing lively first-level retail, and the importance of a thoughtful site plan combined with contextual architecture, in order to achieve a more compelling urban center.