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Whole Foods Company Supermarket (Bread and Circus)

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Bread and Circus
1996, MR+A/Mushinsky; interior, Tom Hatch. 2700 Wilson Blvd.
  • Whole Foods Company Supermarket (Bread and Circus)
  • Whole Foods Company Supermarket (Bread and Circus)
  • Whole Foods Company Supermarket (Bread and Circus)
  • Whole Foods Company Supermarket (Bread and Circus)
  • Whole Foods Company Supermarket (Bread and Circus)

A yuppie grazer's nirvana, and certainly a shift from the standard boring box of most supermarkets, the building partakes of certain late 1990s environmental design fads, such as a large roof canopy with exposed trusses. However, in this case the canopy may recall nineteenth-century food markets and tent-covered stalls. It is exquisitely detailed for a supermarket; the lower orange- and cream-colored brick walls sport quoins, and the entrance recalls older main street buildings. The interior, well worth a visit, shows two systems in conflict: the exposed ducts, pipes, and guts of environmental brutalism, and then, at the aisle level, a series of marquees for the different departments, each of which is treated as a separate shop. Don't miss the uplifting quotes on the walls, even one by John La Farge! The fresh produce is the star of the show.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Whole Foods Company Supermarket (Bread and Circus)", [Arlington, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont, Richard Guy Wilson and contributors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 52-52.

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