When a team of New School architecture students first dreamed up their senior design thesis, they could not have guessed that their humble idea would end up transforming San Diego’s East Village neighbourhood into a thriving social hub.

The aim of the project was to reimagine the city’s undeveloped and unused spaces.

With help from BASILE Studio, the designers (now collectively known as RAD Lab) realised their vision early 2015, converting a 25,000 square foot vacant lot into an eco-friendly temporary outdoor community space called Quartyard.


Within three short months, the team converted 14 shipping containers into fully functional and fully portable modules to be used as a catering station, coffee shop, and outdoor beer garden. See the project unfold in this video.


The urban pop-up park is now a popular hipster hangout, complete with cafe, restaurant, beer garden, music venue and a rotating assortment of food trucks.

In addition to the many tasty food offerings, Quartyard is also home to a 5,000 square foot dog park, which serves as an urban off-leash oasis for the downtown hounds of San Diego.


Open every day, Quartyard hosts various cultural events, including farmers markets, film festivals and outdoor concerts.

The project’s sustainable and innovative design offers visitors a unique outdoor experience.