After an electrical explosion related to nearby construction, Norfolk’s historic Selden Arcade sat vacant, waiting patiently for a new use and identity. WPA teamed with The City of Norfolk, the Downtown Norfolk Council, and Grow to design an incubator hub and community kitchen for Norfolk’s emerging small businesses. The design concept converts former artist studios into open shops and introduces a central meandering path of pop-up pegboard kiosks, benches, planters, and bar tables. The renovation offers a range of retail footprints, encouraging businesses to support one another and grow within the arcade. The kiosks and casework use a modular design approach and a kit of parts to maximize flexibility, allowing for a variety of future programs and events in the arcade.
With two recently completed connections to the Slover Library and to The Main Hotel, the Selden Market serves as an anchor between Norfolk’s newest construction projects. The reactivated arcade will once again provide a welcoming pathway between the waterfront and Norfolk’s downtown, now with a creative spirit familiar to the Norfolk community.