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.

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.

The Apiary

Simple forms with repetitive structural elements

The Hive

A repeated sculptural lantern

Scheme Delta

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

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.

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

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