What once was a vacant lot in Center City Philadelphia, Groundswell Design Group has transformed into a Pop Up Beer Garden. This project was done in partnership with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, University of the Arts, and Four Corners Management.
In many urban areas, vacant lots often fall into disuse and disrepair. They may never serve any purpose beyond gathering debris. This fact inspired the yearly project of taking some of these lots and transforming them into pop up gardens. Groundswell had the opportunity to work with one of these lots in 2013. The specific lot in question has had a colorful past. It was temporary used for a trapeze artist exhibition and has also been used as a parking lot. After a design for the pocket park was finalized, installation took about two weeks. The entire construction process was visible to the public, which allowed passersby to witness the process.
A major component of the design’s success is its flexibility. The architecture on site is comprised of upcycled shipping containers, retrofitted into a bar and a food service area. Each unit also has a dedicated green roof to regulate temperatures, especially aiding in keeping them cool during the warm summer months. In the future if the site is changed, the park can be easily transported and installed in any location.
The beer garden offers locally sourced fare. This ensures that the local economy reaps benefits in addition to the local community. The seating area creates a comfortable setting with picnic tables located beneath large Honey Locusts. There is also a terraced bench built out of wooden pallets. During the day, this provides respite from the hot sun, and in the evening offers a twinkling view of the sky above.
The Pop Up Garden incorporates activity spaces to create a playful atmosphere. Live music, art exhibitions, outdoor films, and grilling are amenities offered. On top of the main purpose of the beer garden and picnic style food services, the community has the opportunity to engage in artistic and fun activities.
The park has become a highly desirable destination for the local community, and drawn visitors from even more distant ones. As the weather warms, the park bustles with visitors enjoying friends and family. This verdant oasis is in stark contrast with the hard urban landscape surrounding it. This design is unique in its impermanence, efficient installation, and intimate scale. In most cities, parks are fixed locations within neighborhoods, serving as recognized landmarks and take time to develop into successful well known areas. This park is identifiable independent of a specific location, and its success a direct function of its ability to fit in virtually anywhere. Groundswell Design Group believes these components make the Pop Up Beer Garden an interesting and stimulating addition to the exhibition.
Pop Up Beer Garden | Philadelphia USA | Groundswell Design Group