Residents celebrated the grand opening of Piazza Pod Park, located at 1075 Germantown Ave., in Northern Liberties Saturday.
The city’s latest mixed-use community destination features 35,000 square feet of outdoor space for dining, art, civic space, kids and fitness components as well as regular entertainment and events.
The space is complete with 14 different vendors, including Empanada Box, Mama Maria’s Italian Ice, Spread Bagelry, Tiki Tako, Urban Village Brewing Company and Dim Sum House’s Lil’ Sum Sum.
All of the vendors operate out of different size “pods,” which are repurposed shipping containers that vary in size from 10 feet long to 40 feet long. Some have windows, like a food truck, that open to the outside. Others have a window, plus a mini-dining room for enjoyment in the winter months. All are equipped with heating, air conditioning and speaker systems for maximum comfort and enjoyment.
Waving from the Center of Piazza Pod Park will be BEBOT, a 33-foot tall, 13,000-pound robot statue from Burning Man that was flown in special for this park. BEBOT was created by London-based artist Andrea Greenlees. The climbable wireframe sculpture is 33 feet tall and weighs 13,000 pounds. The artwork is literally the heart of the entire park, with a literal giant copper heart at its core.
Greenlees created the installation in 2018 for Burning Man in keeping with the year’s theme, “I, Robot,” where artists were asked to look at “how many forms of artificial intelligence that permeate our lives.” BEBOT was designed originally to be participatory art, where art enthusiasts could climb on, around and inside the frame. BEBOT was named by Art World as one of the “biggest, weirdest and most radical art from Burning Man 2018.”
Next to BEBOT, at the center of the park, is a climate-controlled dining pod with a roof deck that boasts a bird’s eye of the park. Surrounding BEBOT and the dining pod are the 14 vendor pods spread out in a semicircle. Check out photos from the grand opening below: