As more and more abandoned spaces are being repurposed for urban farming projects, Caroline Hadilaksono has taken a cue from the movement and re-imagined an old Los Angeles Elementary School as an incredible urban food center. Dubbed the “All-in-one ecosystem for food”, the design won top honors in GOOD’s recent competition to re-purpose calling for entries on how to make use of abandoned school buildings across the US. More than just a place to dine, Hadilaksono’s innovative program gives the community a place to grow, prepare, distribute, and consume food in a single destination.
As an illustrator and story-teller, Hadilaksono let her imagination run wild, designing a vertical garden to fully utilize all the available space. The program also features fun play areas that double as fresh vegetable patches; classrooms used for agricultural ‘labs’; cookery lessons to improve food health education; and fun pulley systems to move baskets full of fresh produce. The idea is so comprehensive that it even includes ‘hydroponic farms’ as an alternative to soil farming, and a patroned seasonal cafe sets a nice balance with a non-profit ‘community kitchen’ that supports the local homeless.
The idea centers around the notions of community building, where a space gives people a place to learn how to produce, harvest and sell their goods. Hadilaksono says that there is not much the average person can do to have a “real, lasting, and pragmatic impact” on the food crisis, but that this is one inspiring solution.
Here’s hoping that ‘The Farm to Table Urban Food Center’ becomes a reality.
Images ©Caroline Hadilaksono