Art Produce, as a creative space, is a dynamic work-in-progress that is constantly evolving. The most recent phase of development has effectively harnessed an underutilized outdoor area to create an engaging communal space in an urban environment, thus achieving what the jury described as a type of “organic sustainability,” serving to enhance the neighborhood. A private, non-descript parking lot has been transformed into a community gathering space that includes an edible garden, urban orchard, and an outdoor classroom that offers film screenings, performances, workshops, cooking classes, a farmers food exchange and other community events. As the jury noted, “With regards to sustainable design, we have moved beyond LEED® ratings; any decent building should automatically be LEED® Gold. However, a Sustainability Orchid should be reserved only for those projects that actually take the idea someplace new.” Art Produce does just that in a simple yet powerful way; the project creates a practical template for how to successfully activate a simple urban space in a way that benefits the entire community.
- Project Address: 3139 University Avenue San Diego, 92104
- Project Owner/ Developer: Stone Paper Scissors
- Owner Contact Name/ Email: Lynn Susholtzfirstname.lastname@example.org
- Project Architect/ Designer: Lynn Susholtz
Art Produce is a public art & culture center/urban development project focused on aesthetic, educational and sustainable/green practices. An adaptive reuse project that retains historic integrity of a structure this recent phase of development focused on energy efficiency and water conservation, programming of the underutilized outdoor area, and creating public space in an urban neighborhood. Stone Paper Scissors, the resident public art and education company, reconfigured a private parking lot into a 4000’ sq ft. community cultural space and garden. An asphalt parking lot one year ago, it has transformed into an edible garden, urban orchard, and outdoor classroom that accommodates film screenings, performances, workshops and community events. Art Produce provides free weekly art and cooking classes every Thursday during the adjacent farmers market and hosts a local farmers food exchange once a month. Art Produce was recently awarded funding as a Sustainable Design Pilot Project by the North Park Redevelopment Agency. The project includes a rainwater catchment system, (retaining the water for gardening), permeable surfaces, shaded outdoor work and gathering areas, and a PV solar energy system. The renovation of the building interior was completed in 2000 and in keeping a reference to the former tenant, North Park Produce, titled Art Produce. The Art Produce building has been a highly successful development project with arts, culture and sustainable design at its core. Public art and education is integral to the programming of the space and to the building itself. Art Produce Gallery is a unique storefront exhibition space facing University Ave. providing free art exhibitions, lectures, community forums, film screenings and performances at the building. The gallery is entirely visible from the sidewalk and is accessible to everyone in the community. Art Produce has been a successful model for integrating art into community redevelopment and an example of how businesses and cultural production are a synergistic combination that adds to the health and vitality of a neighborhood. The Art Produce Garden project includes: Rain water catchment & water reclamation system/ reservoir Removal of asphalt and toxic soils- replaced with recycled concrete gravel & pervious concrete Food production/garden/urban orchard Recycled pallet furniture and fencing Shade canopies with recycled fabric Cool/reflective insulating foam roof Replacement of lighting with high efficiency LED