reinventing shopping centers for the post-pandemic world
los angeles-based architecture firm EC3 and boise-based real estate firm high desert development (HDD) unveil the crystal barn as one of their first anchor buildings at orchard park, an 81-acre mixed-use commercial development under construction fifteen minutes from downtown boise. upon its completion, orchard park is set to become idaho’s most integrated contemporary built environment for a post-pandemic world.
commencing in early 2021, EC3 and a multidisciplinary team of architects and engineers are working with high desert development to re-imagine the conventional shopping center as a creative, net-zero campus where the synergy between the architectural design and curation of tenants will create a regionally-specific destination and visitor experience.
images © EC3
the crystal barn for orchard park
with the overall orchard park master plan, EC3 (see more here) and high desert development (see more here) envision a bespoke, walkable and net-zero community offering a mix of workspace, retail, hospitality, cultural, and civic program with over five acres of open park space.
crystal barn, the first EC3-designed structure to be built, will be a twenty-first-century version of the crystal palace inspired by the vernacular of idaho, which will serve as a flexible exhibition hall with attraction and experience in mind. the 65,000 square foot building is designed as two 350-foot long, parallel structures staggered with interior retail spaces envisioned as site-specific installations. under the pitched roofs of the generous flex space will be exceptional regionally-based companies offering recreational and hospitality experiences. the immersive, ‘kunsthalle-like’ space will house a ‘wave- surfing pool’ and an ‘experimental gastro-hall,’ among other amenities and attractions.
EC3 founder and design architect edwin chan comments on the crystal barn and overall orchard park campus: ‘in the post-pandemic, amazon-led world, our client recognized that the time has come to reinvent the business model of shopping centers. instead of thinking about the business of shopping in terms of maximizing square footage for ‘points of sales,’ we are creating a memorable place to promote social encounters and share experiences for the consumer.’
‘in addition to accommodating a variety of activities and experiences curated by HDD, we also envision cultural institutions, art fairs, digital content producers and other creative enterprises being able to utilize crystal barn for shows, sound stages, productions and other temporary uses.‘