City Market South End | Commercial, Sustainability

City Market South End

Onion River Co-op

City Market, Onion River Co-op wanted a second store that reflected its commitment to the local community, economy, and environment. The solution was a building that combines eclectic urban architecture with cutting-edge green technology on a reclaimed industrial site.

The 32,800 square-foot store sits on a remediated brownfield in an up-and-coming neighborhood anchored in creative enterprises and the arts. As such, art was a central focus of the design. In addition to hand-painted murals inside and out, the architect developed a unique artistic process to design the building’s metal-clad skin.

Working collaboratively with co-op staff, everyday scenes from local farms were digitally manipulated and reduced to the bare essentials. The images were then printed on durable metal panels and mounted in repeating patterns on the building’s exterior walls. The result is unique architectural solution that celebrates the Co-op’s role as a national leader in the burgeoning farm-to-table movement.

On the inside, cabinets and display cases designed by local craftsmen are intermingled with ultra-high-efficiency refrigeration and food service equipment, an intelligent all-LED lighting system, and multiple solar tubes to provide natural light. The project has won multiple environmental awards for its cutting-edge energy-saving features.

Once dirty and dangerous, the site now invites the community in with cooking classes in a generous teaching kitchen, a meeting room for public use, an indoor/outdoor café for casual encounters with friends, and a children’s discovery garden for unstructured play.


OWNER: Onion River Co-op
LOCATION: Burlington, VT
SIZE: 32,800 SF


Efficiency Vermont Better Buildings by Design Award
BBA Hertzel Pasackow Award for Architectural Excellence
Vermont Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence
US EPA Environmental Merit Award
US EPA GreenChill Award
New Hope Network Natural Retailer of the Year
Featured Project in Metal Architecture Magazine

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