Alyce Thompson



Architecture & Urban Conditions




How can we re-imagine a 21st Century public marketplace as an intrinsic part of a Harbour City?

The recent resurgence of the market place is arguably essential to a community’s social integration and place making. Food has become a seed for activity and is one of our most basic needs. As consumers are seeking to reconnect with suppliers of the food industry, there is now a desire to make markets economically sustainable centers of community life. Market places can succeed almost anywhere; on both land and water. Waterfronts are brought to life not only by the views they offer, but with the food and activity they provide. A harmonious relationship between the market place and waterfront would create intrinsic value in the way a place could be transformed and redefined.

Located in Blackwattle Bay, Sydney, The Bays Precinct offers a key waterfront with the Southern Hemisphere’s largest fish market. Reminiscent of Sydney's history as a working harbour, the master plan seeks to improve the connectivity between the public realm and the water's edge via the traditional mechanisms and construction of a finger wharf. The intervention to interlock the land and water aims to serve the harbour as a main food and transportation hub for the city.

Quay Market re-imagines a 21st century public marketplace which captures Sydney's sense of place as a Harbour City through water based amenity and infrastructure. The incorporation of food distribution, through floating pontoons and barges, reflects the nature of a floating market. It aims to serve Sydneywith a new experience to provide fresh produce to the water's edge. This new model emphasises the need for storage and amenities and allows for a 24 hour working wharf. Within the building's own public domain, it seeks to blur the thresholds between land and water and proposes a mix of civic spaces including permanent and temporary markets, education within a cooking school, open bars and restaurants as well as public exhibition and function spaces which revolve around local food production. The iconic structure of Quay Market reflects the historical nature of an operable wharf which has been transformed to provide a new functional market for the ever growing city.