Together Apart is a pavilion that explores the contradictions of a public space designed for gatherings in a time of social distancing. The design responds to a call from 2020 Suzhou Design Week to explore the “New Norm”: emerging post-epidemic forms of social interaction and cultural exchanges. After the lockdowns had reduced everyone’s social life to virtual online encounters, China is finally recovering from the pandemic and people are going back to filling the streets. Social distancing, though, is still an ever-present underlying layer that forces them to experience the urban space through a different lens. The design brief asked for a lecture hall / workshop space with an annexed info point / cafe'. Rather than imposing one way of using the pavilion, we provide the maximum variety of operational modes. When there is no event the pavilion works as an intensifier of the surrounding plaza, offering a sort of artificial topography where people can sit down to enjoy a coffee or read, lie down on soft cushions to watch a projection or play on the suspended net in the back. During a lecture, instead, the visitors can decide whether they want to be part of the small crowd gathered together inside the pavilion or they prefer to stay apart and peek in from a safe distance through the holes located in the back. The interior is wrapped by a colorful elastic skin made of silicon pipes that filters the views without disconnecting the lecture hall from the plaza. Suzhou is internationally famous for its traditional gardens and their architecture that challenges the usual dichotomy of “in and out”. Our façade explores the same concept, blurring such threshold in order to attract the curiosity of the passers-by, while preserving an intimate atmosphere for the speaker and the audience inside. If they decide to enter, visitors have to pull the elastic strings apart and squeeze to pass through, in an effort that reminds them of the importance of social distancing when their personal space is challenged by the pressure of the multitude.