The Sydney Fish Market will establish a world-class “foodie” destination. The project seeks to set in place an exemplary example of integrating the public realm and contemporary market space that will become a landmark in Sydney’s unique harbour-based urban landscape. The new market will place people at the centre of the architectural response, with an emphasis on place-making to foster a strong sense of community at Blackwattle Bay. The building will serve many purposes when it is finished – a working fish market, an amenity for the city, a cultural destination, an urban connector, and an inspiring icon along the renowned Sydney Harbour.
The prominence of the proposed site at the end of Blackwattle Bay seeks a unique response that requires the functional nature of the market to sit within and become integral to the extension of the harbour network and Sydney’s public waterfront domain. While its key operation is industrial by nature, the ambition is to maintain focus on human scale and fine grain urban form within the city fabric. The amphitheatre staircases that lead from the plazas to the public market are a continuation of the surrounding landscape, establishing a foreshore promenade around Blackwattle Bay and opening a new public route along the water’s edge. It will connect the city and give citizens acess to the water.
A sweeping timber-and-aluminium roof floats over the building like a canopy; it ties all the various program elements together in one elegant move, while giving the building an iconic presence along the harbour. The wavy structure is a response to the underlying functions; it rises and falls to correspond with the program below. Beyond design, the roof has four primary efficiency and sustainability attributes: shading, daylighting, ventilation, collection of rainwater and the possibility for solar cells harvest the strong Sydney sun. The roof’s triangular openings allow abundant natural light into the building, while their orientation shades the building from the harshest sun. The market has been designed to be as permeable as possible to maximise natural ventilation and minimise the need for air conditioning. The design utilises the roof’s geometry for rainwater collection and recycling.
A comprehensive energy optimisation strategy has been employed to reduce consumption and demand while producing energy from renewable sources. The strategy includes the possibility for absorption chillers to turn excess heat from refrigeration into cold water for cooling, use of excess heat sources to power the hot water system and space heating. Potential use of leftover ice to pre-cool air for refrigerated areas. Passive conditioning utilises canopy shading, wind capture, thermal mass and excess cool air from other zones to create a comfortable environment with minimal reliance on active conditioning systems. Plantings and bio-filtration zones across the site will form a ‘green bridge’, offering native fauna habitat and access to the water with local flora providing a natural water purification and filtration of the site run-off. The waste systems employed in the new fish market aim to recycle all industrial food-waste. A comprehensive strategy for all recyclables will be instituted and managed to optimise consumables and the fish market will reprocess materials used in packaging and operation.