The final designs for the $250 million Sydney Fish Market project have been revealed, showcasing a large, semi-open space with an undulating sloping roof that replicates the appearance of fish scales. The project intends to create a modern public space that captures the essence of a traditional market and will establish a strong community connection to the surrounding harbour.
The revitalisation of Sydney’s popular Fish Market was announced back in June 2016, with 3XN revealed as the driving force behind the design in 2017. The existing fish market will be relocated to a 3.6-hectare site in Blackwattle Bay and aims to create a seamless marriage between a traditional market experience with modern day features. It also hopes to connect the area to Blackwattle Bay, which is slated to undergo ambitious redevelopment plans that include a new wharf, ferry link and expanded public access to Sydney harbour.
3XN developed the project alongside local architects BVN and GXN Innovation, as well as landscape architects Aspect Studios. The primary goal of the precinct is to create a place that is more than just a simple fish market. “This building will be many things when it is done: a working fish market, an amenity for the city, a cultural destination, an urban connector, and an inspiring icon along the world-renowned Sydney harbour,” explained Kim Herforth Nielsen, founder of 3XN.
In their design, 3XN aims to create a place that maintains the traditional vibe and style of a fish market, while providing a more open and flexible space that gives visitors the freedom to move around at their leisure.
The ground floor will mostly focus on the traditional fish market experience, with areas dedicated to the landing and loading of fish, wholesale markets and an auction hall. The amphitheatre staircases and foreshore promenade will envelop the wharf and lead to an upper level. The staircase ensures a seamless blend of the foreshore with the markets, creating a public space that easily brings the two together and creates a thriving public precinct.
The markets will be a multilayered space, with a dipping stair structure that connects the ground level plaza up to the public market, allowing visitors to the area to indirectly experience the markets while enjoying the new waterfront space. The structure also acts as a seating and gathering communal space and will act as an amphitheatre to host public events.
The roof is a key component of the project. Constructed from timber and aluminium, it will harvest rainwater for reuse, protect the space from the hot Australian sun, filter daylight for below operations and the distinctive design will use winds to extract hot air and protect sellers. It is also reported to include solar panelling.
Each end of the market will also feature a public square that offers even more space for recreation and community gathering, with wetland flora to be planted in order to filter storm and greywater from the building.
A key feature of the new market is its ability to be highly sustainable, combining rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling, biofiltration, mechanical filtration, and recycling waste systems, in order to create a place that doe not harm the environment. In addition to this, the roof will be constructed from timber and aluminium and will harvest rainwater for reuse. “Environmental and social sustainability are essential and inseparable parts of the design,” said Nielsen. “The roof, landscaped forms, open atmosphere, plantings and materials that characterise the experience of the design are examples of this union. Throughout the course of the new Market’s concept and design development; public amenity and environmental sustainability have formed the core of our decision-making processes.”
Over 60 international designs were submitted for the markets, with 3XN’s proposal coming out as the winner. Construction is planned to begin mid-2019 and be opened to the public in 2020.