Washington Fish Market
Rey Lopez

Washington DC Fish Market

StudioMB Architects as Architects

This new development by PN Hoffman/Madison Marquette, designed by StudioMB, includes six new “land-side” structures at the historic Washington Fish Market—the oldest continuously operating open-air fish market in the U.S.—in Washington, D.C. Envisioned as a new retail precinct to support The Wharf—DC’s premier waterfront development—the design is focused around food and highlights StudioMB's restoration of a greatly altered historic structure while bringing the funky character of currently operating barges back to this urban space.

Municipal Fish Market at The Wharf

Kingspan Group as Manufacturers

Washington, D.C. is known as a concrete town to many in the design world, but it is metal being used to make a statement at the historic Municipal Fish Market at The Wharf.

One of the main attractions at The Wharf is the Maine Avenue Fish Market, which dates back to 1790 and is the oldest continuously-operating fish market in the country.

The Wharf is also home to a $25 million redevelopment project, completed in 2018, led by developers PN Hoffman and Madison Marquette. The development includes six new buildings, all of which respond to a historic structure while balancing the funky character of the pier barges.


Metal Melds the Old with the New


A challenge faced by StudioMBwhen designing the Municipal Fish Market at The Wharf was incorporating new construction into a historic site, which had been significantly altered over time.

The design team needed a material that would unify the metal barges with the sole remaining buildings and decided that insulated metal panels were the best option for five of the new buildings –a distillery and a bar; a doughnut shop and coffee shop; two restaurant buildings, and an operations building.

Steel columns from one of the historic sheds were refurbished, and together with metal panels, define the architectural character of the new structures, connecting the old and new in an understated manner.


Building with Sustainability in Mind


Performance was an important factor in selecting materials for the Municipal Fish Market at The Wharf. The owners are pursuing LEED Silver certification by taking a campus approach, which captures the economies of scale in the certification process. The campus approach allows an owner or developer to use the boundary of the entire site in pursuing a LEED certification.

Kingspan panels offer superior quality and high R-values, a critical component when pursuing a LEED certification.


Metal Panels Provide the Finishing Touch


The Municipal Fish Market at The Wharf utilizes more than 25,000 square feet of Kingspan insulated metal panels (IMPs), including Optimo, a flat wall panel available in a variety of finishes, and KarrierPanel, a universal barrier wall system.

Some IMPs at the Municipal Fish Market at The Wharf are vinyl-wrapped, some have a granite finish, and some are even painted with vendor murals to relate to the carnival-like neon signage of the barges. For instance, the interior of the Tiki TNT bar includes a tropical mural painted directly on the Kingspan panels.

Project Credits
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct name
ManufacturersKingspan Group
Ultimate assembly and garden assemblyAmerican Hydrotech
Ipe wood paversBison Innovative Products
Commercial shade umbrellasThe Shade Experts
Product Spec Sheet
Ultimate assembly and garden assembly
Ipe wood pavers
Commercial shade umbrellas
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