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Preserving Smithfield's General Market, City of London

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Project Description: Graduation Project, BArch University of Nottingham

Date: 05 June 2015

Project Location: Smithfield's General Market, City of London, United Kingdom

Studio: Year 3, Unit 3B 2014 - 2015

Tutors: Warren McFadden (Design Mentor)


A project which attempts to revive part of the existing Smithfield Market in London and particularly the General Market which was initially constructed in 1883. It constitutes an attempt of preserving historical fabric as well as redefining the meaning and role of markets in peoples lives as well as UK’s food culture through education, and direct contact with the food process.  

By understanding the power of markets as a place where the political sphere may be revealed my aim was to create a new place where politics of food can be “served on plate” and debate between interested parties can be generated. The scheme comprises of debating/dining halls, market stalls, kitchens, restaurants etc. 

The Manifesto of this project is to transform London’s Smithfield Market into a 21st century Athenian Agora by proposing the separation of food from the current governmental Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, so as to underline the importance of food in every aspect of our lives today, and thus the creation of a New Ministry of Food. It is a governmental department where government representatives are used for public governance and not for the expression of authority. For strategic oversight and coordination that will allow people from different backgrounds and social statuses to participate actively in the debates around food, to express themselves freely and unbiased to redefine their relationship with food and consequently to revive the principles of the [Athenian] democracy that has been lost throughout the years. Market stalls from street markets, commercial kitchens, educational active classes will share the same space with the governmental department underlining the power of food to bring people together.  People buying or eating food will observe those making the decisions and vice versa. Key drivers of the design are accessibility, transparency and participation. As a result, this attempt to design  an egalitarian-democratic building both in its philosophy and implementation, generates a beautiful complexity, orchestrated by social, political and environmental aspects which are derived and developed on two different axes, concept and site. 

Please click on the thumbnails below to view the rest of the project.

Smithfield's General Market, London - Unknown

Existing Situation 2015