Bronx Food Market and Incubator
Clason Point, Bronx, NY
Ferry Terminal, Food Market and Incubator
The Bronx Food Market and Incubator is inspired by the process of making food. Hand-made foods such as dumplings show signs of imperfection: while each dumpling looks more or less the same, they are uniquely marked by the process of making. This project explores the quality of imperfection in architecture through the design of highly articulated room-objects that enclose different programs within the building. The walls of the room-objects are generated through an analog process where cast-concrete is broken and reconfigured, ensuring a different result every time.
This sculpture by Anna Maria Maiolino was the starting point for this project. To me, this sculpture elevates the prosaic act of making food to high art, and celebrates the beauty of imperfection in its forms.
Taking inspiration from the sculpture, I developed two different processes of recombining fragments. For the cube forms, concrete is broken and recombined as a mosaic. For cylindrical forms, the concrete fragments were poured into a formwork. The fragments redistributed with gravity, and the result was cast in resin.
The unique composition of the room-objects are set against the backdrop of a standard column-beam parking lot. The juxtaposition of the individualistic and the standard reflects the operations of a food incubator, where standardized kitchens and spaces are rented out for the creation of artisanal goods.
I photographed the physical concrete models under various conditions to study their interaction with light. These objects, when scaled to the size of a room, give
this building its signature materiality.
Lastly, I studied how the concrete room-objects would be embedded in the building, and use them to generate three different kinds of space: they enclose functional space (kitchens), give character to the surrounding free space (lobby and circulation), and demarcate zones of activity both above and below.