Covington Farmer’s Market- design/build Lab, Virginia Tech


Today’s project is another design/build project for a local community.  This one at Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture + Design, was actually started by alumni’s of one of our previous featured design/build programs, Rural Studio at Auburn, Marie and Keith Zawistowski.  The farmer’s market is simple, with an undulating roof defining the space of interaction.  Check it out! 

SCHOOL: Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design
CLASS: design/build Lab

During the fall semester, the students spent a number of weeks studying existing Farmers Markets around Virginia – which they visited – and around the world – which they studied through publications, drawings and photographs. Using that information, a list of requirements given to them by the client and their own interviews of the Covington Farmers Market vendors, the students were able to establish guidelines and specific requirements for the project.

All 17 students first made individual design propositions for the project. From those, a master plan was determined then a design for the building. In this way, all of the students contributed ideas to the discussion. It was very important from a pedagogical perspective that not one “scheme” was chosen. Rather, they collaborated to develop the final design for the project.

The project is conceived as 3 parts: Ground Plane, Occupied Space, and Pavilion Roof. All component parts are based on a 10’ wide module to facilitate prefabrication and transportation to the site. At the scale of the town, the building reads as a seamless gesture. At the scale of the occupant, the details express the modular construction. A locust deck serves as the market floor. It folds up to allow the nesting of an office, storage room and toilet room. It extends beyond the market and into a sloped earth park to provide a stage and seating. A sculptural roof and ceiling of reclaimed heart-pine and galvanized sheet steel floats over-head.

This market pavilion is the modern expression of timeless agrarian sensibilities.

All text via & images via design/build Lab

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