The design of the first public market in the country to feature local, sustainable food reflects the triumph of place-making and architectural creativity over mind-boggling infrastructure complexity, transforming the ground floor of a previously vacant state office building into a vibrant destination that anchors a growing market district.
Crisply detailed white canopies of corrugated metal are evenly washed with up-lights, creating luminous canted ceilings that vault over 40 distinctive vendor stalls. Rectangular pylons clad in metallic copper laminate conceal utility risers and simulate a pillared market hall. Pendant lights of copper and silver define the aisles and central hub and evoke a culinary theme. With overhead utilities left in shadow and copious use of salvaged barn board, the overall ambiance is that of a bustling market street at twilight.
Creative stall and signage designs are encouraged to express individual vendor personalities while exacting tenant design standards safeguard the appearance and performance market as a whole. An ingenious system of regularized rental modules, sign supports, and plug-and-play utility service connections eases vendor start-up and supports flexible change over time. Aisle layouts and selling walls are designed to maximize rentable area and encourage visitor/grower-seller interaction while integrated LED track lighting highlights the bounty of food and optimizes retail sales.
The design reconciles extreme site constraints – Central Artery Tunnel
ventilation shafts, Haymarket subway station, parking garage, and new Registry of Motor Vehicles – with complex infrastructure requirements. With no basement, sub-floor utilities had to be designed within a raised slab. With no ceiling plenum, overhead utilities had to be thread through a morass of existing infrastructure serving the upper office floors.
The design integrates seven entrances, drawing visitors and residents from all parts of the city. The Teaching Kitchen and Market Hub create memorable urban destinations. Through displays, signage and active instruction, the entire market is designed as a platform for public education. Building- scale signs, exterior lighting, and window decals designed as part of the project announce the market as the cornerstone of the emerging market district.
The new market supports local agriculture and promotes land conservation while reducing carbon emissions associated with food transport by air. Ninety percent of all the food sold in the market is grown, caught or produced in Massachusetts, supporting the local economy. The design minimizes energy and water use while providing for recycling and composting. Designed to meet LEED standards for Interior Design & Construction (v. 4, Retail), the project is currently being submitted for LEED Silver certification.