How A New Pavilion Will Keep Business Running During Major Market Precinct Renewal


In 2016, the City of Melbourne revealed the details of the ‘Queen Victoria Market Precinct Renewal Master Plan’, a $250 million project that was announced in 2013 that would deliver that state’s vision to create a world-class ‘market of markets’ and surrounding precinct while celebrating the heritage of the Queen Victoria Market site.

But a problem emerged with the plans – how was business in the markets going to survive while construction took place?The answer – a simple, yet thoroughly creative design for a new and temporary pavilion that will cater for traders and market-goers while the City of Melbourne moves forward with their precinct renewal.


Market Garden - the new Queen Victoria Market Pavilion
According to the City of Melbourne, the new market site dubbed ‘Market Garden’ will likely stretch from the sheds down to the customer car park. It will be two storeys and incorporate a greenhouse-inspired design, including an open air trading hall on the ground level and a market garden on the upper level. The pavilion will give traders better access to refrigeration, water, power and storage and include a number of sustainability features.


Located on Queen Street, the pavilion will ensure temporarily relocated traders can continue to operate right throughout the renewal program.

Market Garden will extend from Victoria Street to Franklin Street and is expected to be around 250 metres-long and 19 metres in width.

The planning permit application for the temporary pavilion was lodged in 2016 and is expected to be constructed between July and September this year.



Thanks to the greenhouse elements Breathe Architects have woven into the design, the inside of the pavilion will only reach about 28 degrees on 40-degree days thanks to evaporative-cooling effects. Adding to the sustainable qualities of the pavilion, it has been pre-fabricated and can be re-used and relocated after the renewal program’s completion.

The City of Melbourne said the final selection of external materials and finishes will be worked through with the architects and consistent with the concept design will include a palate of light colours.

“Where possible, natural finishes will be used, the greenhouse itself is an off-the-shelf structure and consists of glass and metal. A strong focus on visual merchandising, in partnership with traders, will ensure the fresh produce on display, plus the addition of the greenhouse, will add the colour to the market site.”
The Queen Victoria Market Precinct Renewal (QVMPR)
Where would this innovative concept be without the master plan at large?


The plan was part of the government’s commitment to revitalise the market precinct with a strong focus on improving the trader, customer and community experience. It outlines options for preserving and celebrating the market’s long history, enhancing facilities for traders and market visitors, providing more open spaces and places for events, eating and meeting, easier access for pedestrians, cyclists and commuters, and better parking.


The plan’s highlights were as outlined by the City Of Melbourne:

  • New market sites: As with renewal projects around the world, we're creating exciting new transitional market sites to ensure relocated traders can continue to serve loyal and new customers in an exciting and vibrant environment.
    • Trader relocation: The Implementation Framework outlines how and where some traders will need to relocate to enable delivery of the renewal program. This primarily impacts traders in Sheds A-D, H and I, the Victoria Street terraces and Franklin St stores.

    • Below-ground infrastructure: More than half the renewal budget will be spent on two connected underground facilities below sheds A-D and H and I. The market will be safer as a result, with more room created for customers in the long-term and traders will have the critical infrastructure they need such as cool rooms, storage, food preparation areas, waste and recycling facilities and dedicated delivery and loading areas.

    • Heritage sheds restored and returned: The market’s historic open air sheds, A–D, will be carefully dismantled and restored, before they are returned to where they stand today. Customers and traders will continue to enjoy the open air atmosphere they love, with this historic part of the market revitalised into a fresh food market. Sheds E to F will be enhanced with much needed weather protection. Sheds J, K, L and M sheds will be upgraded with new infrastructure and facilities, supporting day trading while creating a new event space.

    • New customer car parking will be built in the Munro site and explored in other areas of the market, including below Sheds A to D.

    • Open spaces: The current customer car park will be transformed into Market Square on 1.5 hectares of public open space. The intersection of Queen and Therry Streets will become the 'Market Cross', a pedestrian-friendly meeting place that can host markets, festivals and busking, as well as spaces for sitting, eating and relaxation.

    • More places to eat and meet: Sheds H and I will be transformed into a key food destination where people can sit and enjoy the market’s local produce. Deli Lane, currently doubling as a delivery zone and eating area, will become a community meeting place and outdoor dining area. The Food Court will also be revitalised.

    • Heritage: The iconic exterior of the Meat and Fish Hall will be revitalised, with the familiar façade restored. The heritage-listed Elizabeth Street terraces and Victoria Street terraces will receive a facelift. We’ll also work with the community to formally recognise the heritage of the site, including its place as the former Old Melbourne Cemetery. By mid-2017, we expect to hear if Queen Victoria Market has been added to the National Heritage List, a prerequisite for nomination to the World Heritage List. The inside of the Dairy Hall will also be refreshed.

    Images courtesy Breathe Architects and City of Melbourne

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