‘Food Gatherings’: The Secret Recipe of Mixed-Use Design

In a world where the interdisciplinary approach is greatly celebrated, mixed-use architecture has become the new norm of design. Found especially in big cities, hybrid spaces offer a variety of experiences within condensed footprints. This new trend breaks the pattern of homogenous neighborhoods, turning them into cultural melting pots and invigorating the communities within them.

The “You are what you eat” philosophy.

Similar to how the food we consume influences our overall health, the strategic pairing of functions in mixed-use spaces can have a significant impact on the building’s occupants. In other words, mixed-use design starts from cross-programming. Defining a series of interacting functions becomes a priority, setting up the necessary framework for new, innovative and unexpected experiences. Still, is there a secret recipe that ensures the success of a mixed-use structure?

According to recent surveys, the best ingredient for a successful hybrid space includes any function that is related to food. In all cultures, food connects. It encourages human interaction and communal gatherings. In addition, food cannot happen online. In contrast to other retail categories and their ever-growing online presence, F&B outlets are the “secure” anchors for remixing spatial functions in physical space.

The Three Ingredient Footfall Boost

Curating functions, or more specifically, designing intentional customer journeys, turns every mixed-use space into a sought-after destination, rather than a place where people simply go to carry out errands. In addition, combining a plethora of activities that happen around the clock, leads to the site being active at all times and promotes age group diversity. Furthermore, designing mixed-use buildings to be flexible and adjustable, makes them resilient in time. Their programmatic interaction plays a major role in creating a robust spatial ecosystem, where each distinctive function supports the other, allowing the space to constantly evolve.

In a highly digitalized, post-pandemic world the need for more inclusive and interactive communities is stronger than ever. “Food Gathering” has a timeless and romantic appeal on human culture. It has become a determining factor for revitalizing existing mixed-use communities as well as for future hybrid design schemes.

Flexus has over 30 years of experience in architectural concept design and development trusted by a wide spectrum of clients from different industries. We design for the humanverse which is expanding.

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