Marshall Square Market

2018 National DiscoverDesign Competition:


My community market design, located at Marshall Square, will serve the community of young minorities by providing resources for healthy food alternatives, education, and recreation. Furthermore, the design will attempt to combat the lack of technological resources for the growing school age population that resides within the ethnically diverse community.

Collect Info

Surrounding the area there are many locally owned shops, as well as schools, most notably, the Latino Youth High School that is full of students from ages 16-21. I have researched the demographics about the people living within the area surrounding the Marshall Square Park site and have concluded that in the community there are primarily Hispanics, to be precise, there are about 63,000. The second most common race is Black with about 8,000 people in population. In addition to researching the ethnicity of the population surrounding the area, I also looked into other factors such as average household income, average type of housing, and average rent range. I discovered that the median household income for a typical family is less than 50,000, the average type of household is 2-4 units big, and that it is common to see about 2 bedrooms per household with the average rent ranging from $900-$1,100 for a one to two bedroom home. One of the major factors that I thought would help drive my project was the residents' age. Age is a major factor because it can help verify what would help the community the most since people have trends on their needs and wants depending on age. In the end, I discovered that the majority of residents were under 19, with 20-34 year-olds coming in on a close second. Besides simple demographics, I looked into other factors that affect the community such as weather and crime rates. As the temperature proved itself to be chilly year-round, hitting below freezing point in some months, I thought it would be important to keep this in consideration. The crime rates seemed to be the opposite of low which is dangerous considering the great amount of young residents. Strikingly though, the piece of information that I thought was most shocking yet important pertained to the education level of the residents. The amount of residents the received a high school diploma was less than half percent of the community; less than one-fourth of the community population received some college education, in fact.

Brainstorm Ideas

Throughout my brainstorming process, I thought about creating designs not only differentiating in design, but in the focal issues that it would solve, as well. In an attempt to create an area where the ethnically-rich community could congregate and have access to social and economical resources that they would usually lack, I created the first sketch. The first sketch has seating areas on the wide upper level walkways that would promote socialization, provide a place where the large amounts of students living in the community can study outdoors, and/or provide an area where the busy community can simply take a break. It would also: *have access to small rentable spaces to start a local business *post bulletin boards and long wide walls that would provide space for murals or paintings *have study halls and work-spaces where the students can learn

After that, I remembered to accomodate for the stairs and pillars that are located on the site by shortening the walkways. I also diverted from the "business" side of the project and focused on the educational and recreational side by incorporating more study rooms as well as computer rooms. I thought that the computer rooms could be used by the students around the area to fill in for the lack of technological resources. This design includes: *computer rooms and individual study halls *stage area for concerts or community gatherings *an arcade for recreational purposes *a community garden and food market that would provide healthy food alternatives to the "food desert" in the community

Finally, the last design was created from a fresh perspective with the second-story-walkway concept completely out of mind. In this sketch, I was tilted toward having a more natural aesthetic, similar to that of the City Creek Mall in Salt Lake City, Utah; meanwhile solving all the problems described above, at the same time. This design included: *a media center with rentable computer time - this two story building would provide access to an ADA compliant platform lift, a small regular elevator, a flight of stairs, and a balcony *an indoor food market with fresh produce *small areas reserved for retail carts or food carts *an elongated stage area and open grass area for recreational purposes *a fountain with benches around it to encourage socialization and "hope"

Develop Solutions

It is because of the information collected in the "Collect Info" section that I have decided to design the site to be kid-friendly, but more so teenage friendly. After discovering that the average household size, a family of 4, and the median household income is less than $50,000, I came to the conclusion that the families are most likely struggling to stay above the living wage and do not have access to resources needed for educational purposes.

Final Design

After thorough consideration, I combined both my second and third sketches because I believed they would help solve all of the problems, especially the technological issue, best. I combined the idea of having three buildings, each serving its own purpose, from the second sketch. I decided to have the community market be mostly indoors to encourage safety in the high crime rate area. On the other hand, I included the fountain and ADA compliant platform lifts that were introduced in the third sketch. The first building, or the A-Building, would be available for renting by the inhabitants of the community for activities such as dance practices, study sessions, and other recreational purposes. The B-Building is a two story building as well; however, the building has a little more than half of the building underground. The underground floor will be a locally owned business, hopefully specializing in coffee with the top floor being a computer room. The third building, being the biggest will include the bathrooms, an arcade area, a balcony, and some open area underneath for the food market. Finally, I incorporated some finishing touches the stage and small bulletin boards that would serve as a way for people to become knowledgeable about events going on around the community.