Pop-Up Shops Arrive at Wilkes-Barre Public Square

November 29, 2020
The shops provide local retailers with a way to safely reach customers during the holiday season.

“Not only does the event promote local businesses and craftspeople, it does so in a way that encourages safe interactions amid the ongoing pandemic.”

– Times Leader staff

Wilkes-Barre’s Public Square has several new additions this holiday season – pop-up shops designed to provide a welcoming environment for small, local businesses and craftspeople to safely connect with the public. Through its pop-up shops program in recent years, the Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce has offered vacant storefronts downtown at a discount to small retailers who did not yet have a brick-and-mortar presence. This year, the addition of the distinctive, sawtooth-shaped shops lends a festive, open-air market experience to the square while assisting those who have been impacted by the pandemic.

Working with the Chamber and Diamond City Partnership, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson designed portable, flexible and cost-effective shops to fit a number of different configurations. The shops were constructed using 2x4s and polycarbonate cladding to absorb natural light during the day while achieving a glowing lantern effect at night.

1 / 3
Photo credit: Nicholas Snyder

Led by our Wilkes-Barre studio, the design effort included a firm-wide charrette to share ideas and feedback. The selected ‘apiary’ theme, which references the Wilkes-Barre logo, was the result of an exploration of several concepts with the Chamber that focused on simple, compelling designs that drew inspiration from the community and contemplated future uses beyond the retail pop-up model.