Woods Bagot reveals winning design for Adelaide Central Market Arcade

Brick by Brick

Woods Bagot reveals winning design for Adelaide Central Market Arcade

Woods Bagot plans to restore the Adelaide Central Market Arcade's historic facades while leaving the market itself untouched. (Courtesy Woods Bagot)

On December 5, Woods Bagot unveiled its winning design for South Australia’s Adelaide Central Market Arcade. As one of the world’s largest and most visited covered fresh produce markets with 8.5 million annual visitors, the firm’s $400 million plan will integrate a mixed-use program seamlessly within the existing site while leaving the market itself unchanged. 

“As part of a broader vision to attract the best and brightest people, the city intends to transform the market precinct into one of Australia’s most recognized lifestyle destinations,” wrote Woods Bagot associate principal and lead designer Alex Hall in a recent press release. The redevelopment will introduce additional retail, food and beverage, rooftop gardens, education spaces, a hotel, offices, and apartments to the precinct while leaving the historic central market untouched.  

A rendering of a tower with green terraces and a large brick building with multiple arched entryways
Central to the redevelopment is a 35-story, mixed-use tower featuring biodiverse terraces and a public access rooftop. (Woods Bagot)

Owned by the city of Adelaide for two years, the shopping center adjacent to the market was handed over to ICD Property, who will be working alongside Woods Bagot on transforming the center into a 35-story tower with a central public hall and rooftop, and undulating, vegetated balconies. Other collaborators on the redevelopment include joint venture partner Nanshan Group and Australian real estate company Sinclair Brook. 

“The Adelaide market dates back to 1869 (coincidentally when Woods Bagot was also founded in the area), when a group of local gardeners sold their wares without any structure other than gas lights and a fence,” Hall explained. “A century and a half on, we’re looking to sensitively create a space that can carry that local entrepreneurial spirit forward.” 

A public arcade with brick arches and people passing through to the outdoor sidewalks
The firm plans on reinstating arches and brickwork that reference one of the market’s historic facades that were demolished in the 1960s. (Woods Bagot)

The design sensitivity shines through the firm’s plans to reinstate some of the original brickwork and arches of the market dating from before the demolition of one of the facades in the 1960s. Hall expressed that these elements were “always emblematic of the market” and “part of the whole experience.” 

ICD Property’s managing director Matthew Khoo said that “The Adelaide Central Market Arcade has been a prominent community space for 150 years. What we intend to do is enhance the existing structure by restoring and protecting heritage items and building complementary new assets that will become new amenities for the community to enjoy.” 

Construction is slated to break ground in 2021.