Location: San Diego, California, United States
Owners: Quartyard; City of San Diego
Designer: RAD LAB
Additional Team Members: East Village Association; East Village Residency Group; San Diego Downtown Partnership; Freeform Construction Group; Seahorse Coffee; The Deep End; and Best Beverage Catering
Site Size: 0.23 acres (0.09 hectares)
Number of People Served (within a half-mile): 38,000
Quartyard, a collaborative project between RAD LAB and the City of San Diego, explores a series of activities and events to breathe life into an open space in the city’s East Village neighborhood. The first iteration of Quartyard was on land that had been empty for some time, gathering trash and contributing to blight. RAD LAB addressed the challenge by temporarily occupying the lot with community-based uses, including a dog park, events, retail, restaurants, and art galleries. The project employs recycled and retrofitted shipping containers as its core building blocks. Ultimately, this year-round pop-up venue transformed the empty lot into a thriving urban park that served as a temporary placeholder for future development. After three years at the first location, the City of San Diego sold the property to a developer for a planned high-rise housing development. In 2018, to make room for this development, Quartyard moved to a new vacant publicly-owned property 500 feet from its original location. Quartyard I served as a successful prototype for the city and Quartyard II remains in the neighborhood as an amenity for the community.