Auckland Schools’ central kitchen prepares lessons as well as 30,000 meals a day
CAW Architects recently completed a facility for the Oakland, California School District to feed students and teach them how to grow, harvest, and cook site-grown produce. The production kitchen at the Unified School District’s Central Kitchen, Educational Farm and Learning Center (“Center”) prepares and distributes approximately 30,000 meals daily to area schools that lack kitchens of their own.
The site also provides training for district cafeteria staff and educational programs for students to learn about culinary arts, science, health and wellness and agriculture. The greenhouse and demonstration garden explain growth cycles and how to identify different types of produce. The greenhouse produces starter plants from seed to supply approximately 60 school gardens. Culinary instruction takes place in a classroom equipped with a full-service demonstration and teaching kitchen, and in an outdoor kitchen equipped with a pizza oven.
The courtyard serves as the central hub of the facility, connecting the production kitchen, indoor classrooms, and outdoor classrooms. Large folding glass doors open the interior to the courtyard. A wide wooden trellis shades the courtyard and reduces glare in the classrooms.
The building’s energy efficiency is enhanced by a hot water system that uses captured waste heat from a highly efficient CO2 closed-loop cooling system. The solar-ready roof has space to support solar panels that will provide half of the electrical power for the production kitchen.
The next phase of the project will use an undeveloped portion of the site to create an urban farm, community garden and nature play space. The farm will provide vocational training for high school students and adult education programs.
Owner and/or developer: Oakland (CA) Unified School District.
Design architect: CAW Architects
Architect of Record: CAW Architects
MEP Engineer: Integrated package
Structural Engineer: SOHA Engineers
Construction Manager: Cumming Group