When we first went and visited Our Table, I found myself being critical immediately. I saw so many things that needed to be changed to improve function, attraction, and atmosphere. I was drawn to the concept of a community space. I am from a small town with a great sense of community, so I find comfort in sharing relationships and spaces with the people around you. A place like Our Table has the potential to be a gathering space for people all around the area, and I want so badly for this place to be versatile and meaningful to everyone that steps foot on the gravel driveway. I am inspired by the feeling of belonging and my design was my attempt to put a feeling, like belonging, into a structure.
My design features a retaining wall made out of railroad ties that would eliminate the hassle of having to get a running start to go to these spaces. Because the space I was designing for is a ways away from the market, I loved the idea of putting down a flagstone path. Walking from the market, following the path to the retaining wall, the visitor would climb several stairs made from railroad ties as well and come to a ‘V’ in the flagstones. They could continue left to the garden, or right to the hay bale space. There would be benches located around the garden so visitors could sit, chat, people-watch, and enjoy the treat that they bought at the market. When I first saw the hay bale area the only word that I had to describe it was “unfinished.” It looks as if someone had a great idea and then forgot about it. My design builds on the existing poles and string lights (sadly, not the hay bales.) A roof made of the same red metal that serves as the exterior of the market would be installed. This makes the space usable during the months when the weather is less desirable. The most important aspect of this space is that it is functional. It is a large area that could serve as a place for various attractions at Our Table, so it needs to look the part. When I was brainstorming, I imagined what kinds of activities could go on here. I pictured the space as a setting for a wedding reception, family reunions, a community potluck, barn dances, field trips, winter markets… the list goes on. I believe that making a space for events would tell the visitors that Our Table is a place that you are wanted. Our Table prides themselves on being a farm that works closely with the community. Being a local, community driven cooperative sends a message that the service they do with you is personal, meaningful, and memorable. My goal was to communicate that message in a design, and I think that I accomplished that.