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Cities transient in trend for pop up architecture

The future could see transient city centres in constant flux.

Cities transient in trend for pop up architecture


July 1st, 2010

With local governments and big retail brands jumping on the bandwagon, pop-up architecture is going mainstream.

But that could lead to transient cities constantly on the move, according to Breathe Architecture’s Jeremy McLeod.

Arts NSW this month launched a website to encourage local communities to convert empty workplaces into temporary art spaces.

The concept was developed from Renew Newcastle, an urban renewal project that transformed 20 disused buildings in Newcastle’s CBD into a series of galleries and studios where artists can create, exhibit and sell their work.

Local councils in Lismore, Parramatta, the Central West, Leichhardt, Wollongong and Gosford have all expressed interest in the pop up idea.

“There’s no doubt that pop up is becoming more mainstream,” McLeod told Indesignlive.com. “Opening a pop up space does feel temporary and urban, and big retailers and local councils are keen to harness that sense of festival.”

As the trend for pop up takes off in smaller cities and previously disused areas are reinvigorated with temporal creative centres, artistic hubs and the buzz of retail, city centres themselves could become transitory in a way that is both “impermanent and exciting”, McLeod said.

“I can see how, especially in smaller cities such as Newcastle, a trend for pop up could really have an impact,” he said.

“The onus is on the designer to be clever and make use of what is there sustainably. Without a strong emphasis on reuse, the whole concept of pop up is an environmental disaster.”

McLeod and the team at Breathe Architecture created a sustainable pop up store for Melbourne fashion boutique Lulamae last year

The store, which appeared at Melbourne Central, was constructed entirely of recycled cardboard, which was flat packed and pre cut.

“Lulamae had always been an boutique brand with a strong sense of individuality, so they really wanted to assert their independence within the big retail space,” he said.

“Clever pop up gives something back to the shopper, it’s got to be low budget to create, because of its temporary nature, without feeling cut price.”

Empty Spaces



Photography by Trevor Worden

pop up archtecture

lulamae pop up

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