Moving times for a beloved Sydney icon

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The New South Wales government has unveiled the final design for the Sydney Fish Market’s proposed relocation to Blackwattle Bay.

The plans by Danish architecture firm 3XN, in collaboration with BVN and Aspect Studios, would shift the market to a 3.6-hectare site by a wharf. The brief for the 80,000m2 project was to create a world-class food and dining destination that was dynamic, sustainable, and sympathetic to the local area. 

The market is synonymous with Sydney, attracting more visitors annually than the Great Barrier Reef. It’s already the largest fish market in the southern hemisphere, but this upgrade is set to double its size. 

The Sydney Fish Market is set to move to Blackwattle Bay. Image credit -

The Sydney Fish Market is set to move to Blackwattle Bay. Image credit

Bryan Skepper, the Sydney Fish Market’s general manger, described it as “a beloved institution among Sydney-siders, Australians and international visitors. Therefore, it was integral to select a design team that will modernise and improve the site, while recognising its long-standing heritage and retain the authentic experience that attracts customers and visitors.”

 6,000m2 of public domain will be been created in the form of community spaces, a new ferry stop, and two plazas adjacent to the building, intended for informal gatherings and connecting the public to the water. A foreshore promenade will wrap around the building facility, which is designed to partially hover above the water.

The fish market will double in size. Image credit - Aspect Studios.

The fish market will double in size. Image credit - Aspect Studios.

Amphitheatre staircases will link the plazas to the public market, and help to establish the foreshore promenade to provide a new public route along the water’s edge.

The new Sydney Fish Market’s roof has been inspired by fish scales - made from both timber and 350 aluminium panels studded with skylights, it will harvest rainwater to be treated and recycled.

A wetland is also to be included, providing a habitat for birdlife, a bio-filtration system for stormwater runoff, and recycling system for grey water from the main building.

The fish market itself will be a highly adaptable building, with a modular framework that can change its form to suit different operations happening under its one roof.

3XN say that, “rather than allowing the new building to become disruptive of the connection between the existing qualities, the design treats the new Sydney Fish Market as a critical component of the community: a catalyst for a strengthened relationship both physically and though the identity it offers both locals and visitors alike.”

Construction is due to begin in mid-2019, and the new market is expected to be complete in 2023.