Urban Tilth, a non-profit organization in west Contra Costa County, cultivates agriculture to promote a healthy food system for communities in the North Richmond area. The North Richmond Farm Project is an Agricultural Park and Riparian Restoration Learning Center with the mission of creating a space where children, youth and adults can deeply engage with nature. The site design incorporates a fresh fruit and vegetable produce market stand, a cafe and community kitchen, learning gardens and outdoor classrooms, a bike workshop, and support facilities such as greenhouses, shade houses and office for Urban Tilth.
The project team collaborated to bring architectural and landscape design together, providing a mixture of indoor and outdoor spaces that would be conducive to learning, exploring, socializing, and community involvement. With active gardens, pathways, and children play areas, the farm entrance draws the attention of passersby, offering sight lines to the cafe and bike workshop beyond.
The history of the Ohlone Tribe on this site was carefully considered throughout the design process, where no building footprint would touch the areas deemed sacred by the Ohlone. The addition of a circular reflective garden provides a sanctuary space for remembrance of the site’s important history.
The integration of alternative and sustainable design solutions is a vital aspect of the project that reflects the vision of Urban Tilth. The use of natural and recycled building materials allow the structures to feel intimate and impermanent, while the thoughtfully designed rooflines serve to optimize solar energy intake as well as rainwater collection for irrigational uses.
The team has completed the initial visioning, programming, and the feasibility.
Learn more about the Urban Tilth Farm here.