Riverdale Park Farmers Market

Volunteering

Riverdale Park, MD

Building Community Through Design

The Riverdale Park Farmer’s Market (RPFM) received a raw tenant space from a local real estate agent. The space had laid vacant for a large amount of time. The goal from the realtor was to create a community hub to activate the area and to show the potential of the real estate. RPFM wanted to add to this by creating a warm and inviting space to house its Winter Market. RPFM wanted to capture the feel of the farm in its design while maintaining a sleek feel approach to the design.

 

Together with the Neighborhood Design Center, we created a kit-of-parts for the Market, organizing a color pallet and an overall theme. We drew on the 

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fact that the farmers market brings different people in the community together, like a community quilt. This theme was carried out by utilizing a triangle pattern throughout the space, from an accent wall to window treatments, to signage.

Brainstorming ways to draw people into the space, we decided to utilize the window space as a factor that draws people to the space, both during the market times and when the space is unoccupied. We designed the window bays to have a uniform triangle pattern along the base, to hold interesting furniture and pendant lights that could also be sold during market hours. We ensured that the views into the space were not obstructed so that you can see the activity occurring within the space During the Winter Market and the intrigue of potential activity when it is not activated.

 

Since the budget for the project was $1000, we utilized cheap materials and materials that could be found for free. We created structural pieces out of free pallets that were resourced from the RDFM’s Owner’s friend. We also created lighting fixtures using the pre-existing construction lights and aluminum pie plates. This created an interesting farm/food theme while eliminating the need for additional lighting due to the reflectivity of the pie plates. 

 

We decided to divide the space into two sections, the Market Space and the Lounge Space. The two spaces would have separate atmospheres.

The Lounge is lit just enough to create a relaxed vibe. It is decorated with furniture from a local vendor. The tables are cable spools draped with fabric that matches the color scheme. A ramp leads from the Lounge to the Market to give ADA accessibility. The pre-existing stud wall is covered with deconstructed pallets to create a clean linear divide between the two spaces. The space focuses on the stage that sits in front of the triangle accent wall. This wall wraps around into the market space to tie the two spaces together. 

 

The market is extensively lit as to better view the merchandise. The Market is decorated minimally as to focus the attention on the products. The vendors set up their tables along the outer perimeter of the space as a buffer to the barren concrete walls and a counter made of pallets divides the space promoting circulation. Signs are displayed throughout, carrying the triangle theme throughout the space. The signs promote the ideals of the RDFM: “Eat Fresh, Eat Local.” At the rear of the marketspace is a nook created by a pallet wall. This provides a quieter space to relax and enjoy fresh food and coffee.

 

The Farmers Market was pleased with the space and it became a popular winter destination for the community.