Greig and Stephenson Architects (GSA), working with Preston-based multi-disciplinary practice Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP), have recently delivered a new market project for Preston City Council.
The project sees the first stage in a transformational Market Quarter scheme which looks to reinstate the market offer as one of the key social and economic hubs of the City Centre.
The overall vision is to stitch the market place back into the rich urban fabric of Preston’s City Centre; as through a number of social, economic and physical barriers, it had grown disconnected despite occupying such a prominent location within the City.
The project will bring new life, activity and opportunities to the Preston Market Quarter and the surrounding context. The redevelopment of the markets has been considered holistically with the forthcoming cinema complex project to ensure a comprehensive improvement to the City Centre.
The scheme includes the provision of space for events, performance areas (casual and formal) with the potential for outdoor dining and responsible drinking.
The new facility enhances the existing market offer, providing opportunity for new trade and creating a community ‘buzz’ from early in the morning until well into the evening; with the opportunity to further complement the new leisure development to be constructed on the adjacent site.
In order to accommodate the traders from the to-be-demolished 1970s market building, GSA & FWP created a 7-meter enclosure comprising a mix of glazed and timber panels around the perimeter of approximately 50% of the 1875 structure. The proposed glazing, frames and superstructures are free-standing and totally independent of the listed market canopy; this also applies to the new enclosure being open to the historic canopy above.
The new Market Hall benefits from good levels of natural light and ventilation, and a palette of quality and robust materials, all contributing to a greater presence within the Market Quarter for the long-neglected traders.This offer will benefit the rest of the outdoor market, increasing footfall, and can act as an incentive for a stronger offer across the market place as a whole.