The Grocery Gap

Kristi Andono, B.Arch '23


ARCH 302A: Architectural Design III

Gallery: Co-op City – Housing for the Collective Good: From Minimal Dwelling to Maximal Housing

Instructor: Lisa Little

For millions of Americans—especially those living in low-income communities— accessing healthy food is a challenge. Grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and other vendors cannot be found in their neighborhoods. What can be found instead are convenience stores and chain fast food restaurants that mainly sell cheap, high-fat, high-sugar, processed foods.

Located adjacent to McDonald’s parking lot, my project aims to lure prospective fast food eaters away into a place offering healthier food alternatives. In contrast to these restaurants where the ingredients are mass produced in large factories, my housing project incorporates a farmer’s market. In return, this provides employment for the residents and others in the neighborhood, supporting the local economy.

My project particularly aims to meet the housing needs of single parents with children and senior residents in Leimert Park through a shared housing scheme creating a mutually beneficial community which allows them to learn, socialize, and share the same experience while living together. I drew inspiration from the African proverb “it takes a village to raise a child,” wherein interactions within an entire community allow children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment. As such, my project places an importance in shared outdoor balcony spaces for children to play while being looked after by other occupants.


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