A Culinary School in San Mateo, CA

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The city of San Mateo is situated in the Peninsula Region of Northern California, in the county bearing the same name. Its downtown area, while being an old and important center for finance, real estate, professional services and medicine, is traditionally looked upon as a retail hub.

The unique ability of downtown to serve a variety of functions - commercial, residential, transportation and institutional - provides an opportunity to enhance downtown's role as the city center. This thesis proposes a new anchor building that will assist downtown in fulfilling this role. The new institutional building marks the eastern threshold for arrival in the district. Its location along El Camino Real - the county's main traffic corridor - will spark the creation of a new master plan that will include public and cultural facilities that help define and enhance downtown's sense of place.

The proposed San Mateo Institute of Culinary Arts is a mixed-use development composed of institutional, commercial, hospitality and residential uses. The college complex is comprised of a professional culinary school, a series of food service and retail facilities, a small inn, and an apartment building housing local professionals. The new complex would complement the surrounding context, while encouraging development that speaks of the imagery of a Downtown district.