EskewDumezRipple: Second Harvest is one of the region’s largest food banks, carrying out a mission to end hunger by providing food access, advocacy, education, and disaster response. The organization provides food and support to 700+ community partners and programs across 23 parishes, and their staff and volunteers distribute the equivalent of more than 32 million meals to 210,000+ people a year.
Following the recognition that their operation had grown in size and stature over the years, and after touring several similar facilities around the nation, stakeholders set about renovating their workplace to be a physical manifestation of their very public mission in the community. The renovation, executed while the project was occupied, was a particularly complex one—the design team frequently likened it to building a ship in a bottle. The project involved the painstaking process of taking former warehouse space and converting it to office use.
Given their active role in the community, the design team took inspiration from the organization’s work itself, but also the colors and qualities of food—hues largely composed of green with pops of yellow and purple. Today, the 27,000-square-foot space features a new entry lobby, a warm, welcoming space for visitors, a board room, administrative and staff offices, a large conference room for training, and several communal spaces for employee congregation and socialization.