Masks On Doors Open: Paving the Way
Parking Lot Transformations
As states continue to reboot their economies, and with warmer weather on the horizon, we have been thinking about what would make patrons feel comfortable heading back into the restaurant scene. Viral transmission rates are lower outdoors, and many restaurants have extra outdoor space that could be converted to more profitable use. Parking takes up more square footage than you realize – each space when including drive aisles can take up to 396 square feet. Would you convert a parking lot to a socially distant dining room? There’s nothing more inviting than soaking up some sun while dining outside when the weather is nice.
Pre-Covid 19 we had been exploring this idea for smaller-scale interior restaurants that needed to expand their capacity. This Shake Shack in Portland planned to take an old parking lot/Vitamin Shoppe and convert it to an expansive outdoor patio. Here are some of those design inputs.
Shake Shack Case Study
Originating in San Francisco, the term Pocket Patio refers to the conversion and re-purposing of space into an area promoting community and public gathering. Aria Group directly applied this rapidly emerging urban approach when designing this Shake Shack in Portland.
All elements of the outdoor patio were designed to integrate seamlessly with the design of the Shake Shack building itself. Colors, materials, and finishes remain consistent with the entire building program’s intent, including simple modern lines, warm industrial finishes, and signature Shack string lights for ambiance. The patio will feature picnic-style dining tables with shading umbrellas, geometric stadium steps surrounding a concrete ping pong table, and a covered dining section right off the main building. In support of Portland’s cycle-friendly culture and its green benefits, the Shack patio space will also feature built-in short term bike racks that can store over 30 bicycles at a time. The entire outdoor space includes built-in landscaping as well as mobile planters in an effort to incorporate greenery into an otherwise stark, urban setting.
Shake Shack – Portland: A landscaped patio instead of parking.
A Shift in Perspective
The re-opening of America will continue to be a gradual process. It will require everyone to work together by practicing social distancing and other public health strategies to reduce our risk of exposure to the virus. Adjustments in the design of public space are already underway to ensure a safe comeback to public life. The parking lot-to-patio idea is one of several design initiatives that can help support social distancing efforts by creating more public space in the outdoors. What underutilized spaces can you think of? How can these areas be transformed to promote a socially and physically healthier environment? With a shift in perspective and a little creativity, the possibilities are endless.
Shake Shack – Portland: Patio dining and outdoor games
Welcome to another edition of Meet the Team! This month, we would like you to meet Nathan Kiecker. Nathan is an Architectural Designer and has been a part of the Aria Group team since 2019. Recently, Nathan’s focus has been on several Shake Shack projects around the U.S. and his technical talents have been instrumental […]Read More
Welcome to another installment of Meet the Team! This month, we would like you to meet Lauren Oldenburg. Lauren has been with us since 2017 as an Interior Designer, and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Architecture in the evenings! While at Aria, she has been instrumental in developing brands such as Tortazo, Carve […]Read More
Welcome to another addition of Meet the Team! Jasmine Esquinca has been with us since early 2016 and she is quickly approaching her 6-year anniversary with Aria Group! During her time here, she has grown into her position as an Architectural Designer. Her expertise has proven to be not only helpful to many of our […]Read More
We are full of gratitude as we enter this holiday season and we are thankful for every client—past and present! One of our clients, Cocina Compartida de Trabajadores Cooperativistas (CCTC), has been working for over three years to realize their dream of opening a shared kitchen space for street vendors to prepare food in Chicago’s […]Read More
We are excited to share another successful pro bono project that extends our continued commitment to social responsibility, environmental stewardship, equity and inclusion. Aria Group began collaborating in 2020 with Beat the Streets on their new South Archer Avenue wrestling facility located in the Garfield Ridge neighborhood of Chicago—a project that would transform and directly […]Read More