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The Steven Korman Nutrition Center
420 North 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
A Philadelphia-based non-profit organization, providing meals to the critically ill, Manna was looking to relocate to a larger space with an expanded capacity to produce 2.5 million meals a year. SPA headed a team that created a feasibility package providing the client with an analysis of the organization's existing and projected facilities use, cost estimation, design phase scheduling and graphic renderings of the proposed project.
The study examined the organization's current facilities, equipment and processes to inform the space need projections for quadrupling their existing capacity. The analysis made it clear that Manna had outgrown its existing space and that sacrifices to the circulation and user experience were made to keep up with their growing need for more space.
Data and feedback provided by Manna, allowed SPA to make informed decision trees to help the team better understand the priorities of the project. Four categories emerged as the main programmatic components; the kitchen, offices, volunteers and support.
SPA provided diagrams as well as written analysis of various project schemes to help involve more members of the organization in decision making. Program adjacencies and workflow were important topics in discussions with staff and volunteers as they shared their experiences in the existing space. Their feedback helped SPA develop an effective workflow for staff and a clear sequence of arrival for volunteers.
A central kitchen scheme is both symbolically important, placing food preparation visibly at the heart of the space and functionally effective, maximizing program adjacencies while creating the most opportunity for interaction between the kitchen and office staff. The kitchen at the center of the building also allowed the work flow to continue uninterrupted by visitors or clients who want to view the kitchen area. The final design communicates the importance of the employees, volunteers and donors in the healing process of the clients.
This feasibility study had a number of useful outcomes for the non-profit, saving time and money in the final construction of the project. One notable discovery, was that the existing hot kitchen equipment had the capacity to serve the projected future numbers if it was carefully re-organized to be more efficient. Not needing new equipment for the hot kitchen meant that more space and money could be allocated for refrigeration and food storage capacity; ultimately increasing production while making the best use of the project budget.
Renderings of Manna's new facility helped illustrate the design goals for the project and engage donor support.
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