RAD Lab Designs was awarded an Orchid for their innovative design-build installation at East Village’s Pocket Park. The San Diego Architectural Foundation’s annual award ceremony Orchids and Onions jury noted, “With one simple and coherent idea this pocket park created a functional, communal gathering space in an existing unused lot. We need more projects like this one!”
This urban initiative is called Pocket Park and is a free community gathering space. Pocket Park is part of a larger movement called "place making" which looks to transform spaces throughout Downtown into lively, engaging areas.
Open space is at a premium in urban centers such as Downtown San Diego, so it is critical to find ways to maximize the use of these spaces. To accomplish this, HP Investors worked with the Downtown San Diego Partnership, the East Village Association and RAD Lab’s architecture and development team to deliver a unique urban park.
To bring this space to life, HP Investors commissioned RAD Lab to create a one year installation that would be a value added amenity for the community. The predesign process asked the community what they wanted in the space. The responses were clear, they wanted a green space to socialize and interact. The RAD Lab design team went to work and, with input from the East Village Association, the design was set. The design team used as many sustainable products as possible featuring more than 300 recycled pallets.
The space is overseen by the San Diego Downtown Partnership’s Clean & Safe program to ensure that it is well maintained and safe. The San Diego Downtown Partnership is always looking for new creative ways to engage the community.
This Pocket Park is a great demonstration of how collaboration and creativity can quickly and inexpensively transform space.
City of San Diego & RAD LAB – QUARTYARD
The city was looking for temporary tenants to fill a vacant East Village lot until a permanent development would be built. RAD LAB entered into a lease with the City that allows a percentage of their QUARTYARD project’s net revenues to be paid to the Housing Asset Fund. The project provides community capital by making use of a space that would have otherwise still been a dirt lot - with no liability to the city or taxpayers.