Placing third in a competition to create an idea that can improve suburban living, I proposed creating a prototype for a new type of grocery store that can coexist on a small scale in a suburban environment rather than as a big box entity on the outskirts of a neighborhood. Creating a grocery store that functions as a gallery space with no actual goods on hand allows for a smaller and more sustainable footprint.
Using remote barcode scanners and displayed product packages, shoppers could scan items they wish to purchase and simply hand the cashiers the scanner to check out to process the order/pay. While they are shopping, their goods are being packaged at the off-site warehouse near a major distribution center and can be delivered immediately or scheduled for a later time.
By placing these directly in neighborhoods, shoppers can travel by foot and groceries can be delivered in bulk deliveries to various homes, cutting the carbon footprint significantly for all of the consumer vehicles that normally fill a big box parking lot, as well as those many distribution vehicles that deliver from the distribution center. Additionally, this cuts the required energy needed to run a big box store.
A major benefit of placing these throughout suburban communities nationwide is to encourage that neighborly interaction which sprawl does not promote. Walkability and proximity, as well as a sun-filled atmosphere in which to shop will create a connective tissue in our currently unraveled suburban way of life.
I recently spent some time re-imagining the architectural expression of the concept, as I've never felt that my entry was the best use of site. Rather than creative elements that hovered over the site, blocking sun and creating non-appealing areas of gather, I have now buried it within the site. This allows for a completely grass-covered volume that can still be utilized as public space. Below grade and accessible only from within the store, a community garden would supply the neighborhood with fresh, local produce.
Status: Competition Entry
Location: Anysprawl, USA
My Role: Solo Designer
Additional Credits: Competition [held by Kennesaw State University]