The project repurposes an existing metal warehouse in downtown Wahiawa as a Value-Added Product Development Center (VAC) or food makerspace for the state’s Community College System. The VAC is an incubator component in an island-wide portfolio of missing middle-scaled cooperative food hubs and facilities being developed by Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture to support a local food supply chain. The VAC will support postsecondary education in the incubation, marketing, and commercialization of value-added food products from the upcycling of agricultural waste streams.
The facility is organized as a series of three lofts or large adaptable open spaces to optimize responsiveness to changing needs. The lofts offer unique opportunities for architectural and civic expression. A Public Loft fronting California Avenue supports visitor events and marketing of student products, a Production Loft accommodates student product processing and packaging, and an Administration Loft on the mezzanine level houses classrooms, conference space, and faculty/staff office areas. Each loft is naturally lit by new courtyards, carved from the building’s mass, and light monitors to humanize student design and production spaces.
The three lofts are serviceable from an internal yellow logistics corridor along the building’s length, connecting all lofts to the Shipping and Receiving Area. Service cores in each loft adjoin the service corridor, separating public areas from production zones without sacrificing visual continuity throughout the facility. Yellow walls brighten internal areas with the least access to natural light.
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