Cook Campus was initially a farm that became the agriculture school for Rutgers University in the 1800s with expanses of farmland for student use, essentially a living lab. Today, the NJ Institute of Food, Nutrition, and Health (IFNH) stands tall at the heart of the historic campus next to the Department of Food Science at Rutgers. It hosts Harvest Café, a dining venue that promotes the institute’s mission of healthy eating. By utilizing the landscape around this building to educate students about food again, Rutgers can bring back the historic campus purpose.
Food brings people together, and so our design concept transforms the IFNH entrance into an edible terraced garden. The space becomes interactive and invites people of varying disciplines to its stair-side sanctuary of salubrious sustenance. Plants of varying fruiting periods were chosen to allow for diverse options throughout the year.