Action for Neighbourhood Change with Mount Dennis Community Kitchen Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, University of Toronto
Architecture students and community group partner to create a mobile community kitchen
Mount Dennis Community Kitchen has joined forces with Masters of Architecture students at the University of Toronto to design and build a mobile community kitchen for the historic Mount Dennis neighbourhood at Eglinton and Weston Road. Following nearly four months of design and review meetings, construction is scheduled to end April 26nd with a launch at Gladhurst Park.
This is the first collaboration of this type between the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design and a community organization. Professor Adrian Blackwell introduced the course entitled “Assembling a Molecular Architecture” in early January. Since then, 13 students have established contacts with Evergreen, and most closely with the Mount Dennis Community Kitchen, regularly attending meetings and meals with drawings and models in tow. The final design includes three mobile carts calibrated to the activities and site conditions of Mount Dennis (a neighbourhood that has struggled with the disappearance of industrial jobs, such as the Kodak plant) that aim to intensify community collaboration through the simple pleasure of sharing food outdoors.
While it is unusual for a burgeoning community group to receive weekly architectural presentations, it is equally unusual for architectural students to have to interact with a real client in the form of a working community organization – and then deliver the project at full scale. This new kind of dynamic has produced a simple architecture of mobility and variability based in the social realities of Toronto. The mobile community kitchen carts will facilitate community activities ranging from clean-up initiatives, a food market and communally prepared meals.
The project is currently under construction at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design and will be launched at noon on Saturday April 26th at Gladhurst Park (Eglinton and Jane) with a meal prepared in the new kitchen. The process has been documented and published online at http://moleculararchitecture.blogspot.com/.
ARC3016 “Assembling a Molecular Architecture” is a 3rd year option studio for Masters students at the faculty. Instructor Adrian Blackwell; Students Luke Stern, Pamela Tung, Giampaolo Mancuso, Nicko Elliott, Graham McNally, Jesse Jackson, Pamela Choo, Harry Teng, Larry Mac, Jamie Lennox, Scott Keyes, Gene Mastrangeli, Cara McKibbin
Partners and Collaborators:
Action for Neighbourhood Change
Mount Dennis Community Kitchen
Emmett Ave Community Garden