Check out the winner of the City of Surrey’s PARKit design competition, which asked for pop-up park submissions that could be installed temporarily near the SkyTrain station in the city’s centre.
The winning design is called—wait for it—Gingham Style, and uses the traditional picnic checkerboard pattern in a cool, new way. The design, dreamed up by Liz Nguyen and Mike Wartman, creates an inviting communal picnic spot under what would normally be the dreary elevated tracks of the SkyTrain system. And of course anything looks magical with lights strung across it.
Grass-printed vinyl wrapped seating is provided in the absence of actual grass and a tree in a built-in planter at the table’s end provides a touch of real green to the scene.
It reminds me of a similar project in Vancouver done over the summer of 2012 called “Lunch Meet" where a big, communal lunch space was created downtown by plopping long picnic-style tables in the middle of a street closed to traffic.
Both Gingham Style and Lunch Meet are/were temporary installations, unfortunately. We need more places for communal eating in our downtown areas where park space is at a premium and workers over the noon hour look for ledges to sit on and balance take-out containers on their laps. Why not install big long tables in some of the business or entertainment districts and encourage people to sit and eat together? Anyway, food for thought.