From the early days of the pandemic, it became clear that restauranteurs and retailers would have to adjust how people dined and shopped in the city. In the warmer months, gathering to eat and browse outside was a boon to spirits and the local economy. However, subzero temperatures, wind, and snow present a real challenge to outdoor city life. Recognizing the devastating economic impact of a winter closure on restaurants and small retailers, the City of Jersey City sought to continue the vital resource through the colder months. Working pro-bono and closely coordinating with City Councilor Jamie Solomon Agencie, designed a winterized kit-of-parts solution.
Agencie’s solution is an adaptable and modular Winter Lodge system, allowing businesses to operate under the current health guidelines. It creates a place for diners and shoppers to feel safe and comfortable in winter weather. Inspired by winter markets and drawing on our modular work and experience designing restaurants, the Winter Lodge prototype addresses barriers, shading, lighting, and furniture, as well as space for heating and wind protection.
The winter lodges are cozy and safe outdoor dining and shopping areas, each featuring a partially enclosed pergola and heater. After receiving many inquiries from Jersey City restaurants and shops about how to create their street dining and retail space, we adjusted to accommodate a range of restaurants, stores, and street conditions.
Andrés Cortés, AIA