by Muhammad Syafiq Norkhalim | December 2020
The Local Food Centre (currently the Gifu Municipal Hall) is a design proposal that seeks to repurpose the modern building into a hub that will cater to the young demographic, mainly office workers and nearby citizens, surrounding the site.
While sandwiched between a tertiary office district and a residential area, and located nearby the very popular Media Cosmos, the Municipal Hall also sits within walking range of several community anchors such as schools, shrines, and the downtown shotengai. However, with a newer Civics and Culture Centre located right within the shotengai district, and the Media Cosmos right next door, the Municipal Hall’s main auditorium programme becomes sort of an indirect and inferior competitor. It’s secondary programmes, housed within an annex L-shaped volume, comprise of obsolete conference spaces and a dated dance studio.
As such, my intervention proposes that the cylindrical auditorium space be completely remodeled internally, converting it into a spacious multi-level cafeteria that is directly accessible from the outside (the current building’s cylinder can only be accessed secondarily via the L-shaped volume). The cafeteria will focus on serving a healthier range of food for consumers, to encourage a healthier lifestyle in Gifu.
The L-shaped component will see some volume removal, and be refurbished to provide ancillary services that will support the provision of healthier and better quality produce for the community. A roof farm will also be added to provide in-house agricultural produce using advanced hydroponics and hydrogel agricultural technology developed in Tokyo.
The new Local Food Centre, which will be managed by JA Gifu (agricultural & produce company), will connect thee nearby stakeholders, as well as reach out to local institutions like schools and hospitals by providing healthy catering services. This is similar to a current lunchbox initiative within Gifu city. The reformed food Centre will also connect with the several restaurants and cafes within the shotengai district by providing better quality in-house produce.