A Flexible Approach to Pop-Up Design

The pop-up shops that welcomed visitors to Wilkes-Barre’s Public Square this holiday season provided local retailers and craftspeople with a way to safely connect with customers. The rhythm of distinctive, sawtooth-shaped shops brought a festive, open-air market experience to downtown, a warm glow in the winter twilight.

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The shops on Wilkes-Barre’s Public Square © Nicholas Snyder / Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Collaborative Approach

During a time of remote work and virtual collaboration, we responded to this idea with a process that brought together our six studios at the outset to exchange ideas, holding a firmwide design charrette in June to identify important themes and topics. Following the charrette, a team in our Wilkes-Barre studio synthesized ideas and began to advance potential schemes, meeting frequently and inviting guests from across the practice to (virtually) review, critique and contribute to the dialogue.

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The Apiary

Simple forms with repetitive structural elements

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The Hive

A repeated sculptural lantern

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Scheme Delta

A compact form that expands and functions as an art installation when closed

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Flexible Future Use

While the Apiary was ultimately developed, each scheme is responsive to its context and addresses flexibility of use in different ways. Made with 2x4s and polycarbonate cladding — commonly used in greenhouses — the Apiary structures offer natural warming during the day and achieve the desired “lantern” glow at night, serving as beacons on the square.

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Designing buildings that inspire connection and wonder in every person who experiences them.

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