The Christmas Committee of Bethlehem’s Downtown Business Association requested the pro-bono design of five new Christmas “Huts” to this year’s authentic German Weihnachtsmarkt (open-air Christmas market) also known as Christmas City Village.
Bethlehem’s Christmas City Village is located in the historic downtown shopping district along Main Street. It features 35 wooden huts dressed for the Holiday’s and filled with Christmas gift ideas to the background of scheduled entertainment, bratwurst and gluhwein.
The huts are designed with a steep slope as seen in the Tyrolean Alps. The slope of the roof is designed for snowfall and a ridge line borrowed from Swiss/Austrian architecture. The challenge is unique in that there is only a limited budget for materials, but also the structure would be taken apart and stored every year. The deck, walls, and roof panels are constructed as single units to be taken apart, transported, flat-packed and stored with ease by a crew of two. Only nails and wood screws are used for simple and accessible fastening. The poly-carbonate roof is not only easy to dissemble, but also allows for a large amount of light and warmth inside during the day. During the night the huts are illuminated from within and emit a lovely glow to add to the magical Christmas atmosphere of Bethlehem’s historic district.
Date project was completed: November 27, 2013
Construction costs (excluding site work, furniture, fixtures, and equipment): $1,100 each (labor and materials), or $430 each (materials only)
Principal contractors: Dan Lechner, Lechner Homes Inc; Wes Side Hammer Electric
Location: Bethlehem, PA, US
My Role: project manager and designer
Additional Credits: Dan Lechner, Lechner Homes Inc;
Wes Side Hammer Electric