Updated concept images of the plans to revamp Smithfield markets have been shown off by the City of London.
Subject to approvals, the current tenants are being asked to move to a combined market in Dagenham Dock, leaving their historic site in Smithfields. With the Museum of London expected to move into part of the site, the rest is being proposed to be turned into a central part of the city’s Culture Mile, stretching from Moorgate to Farringdon.
The updated concept designs have evolved following public engagement held in the summer of last year.
The concepts, which have been put together by architecture practice Studio Egret West, show how these buildings could be restored and transformed to accommodate a myriad of uses. The suggested physical interventions would reveal new public spaces and open-up the buildings to the public.
Due to their ancient legal status, Parliament needs to approve the plans to move all three markets and the alternative future for Smithfield will form part of that process.
The image above shows possibly the most significant intervention – a cut through part of the floor of the Grand Avenue to connect with the basement levels.
Removing a part of what is currently a road would bring natural daylight and ventilation into the below-ground spaces of the former rail goods yard and is expected to help visitors move around the buildings more easily.
The cut would also allow the ground floor halls to be connected to one another below ground so that they could work together for large events or activities — to bring in that necessary event hosting revenues.
A glass roof would allow for the creation of a garden as part of the winding granite setts of the Victorian Rotunda ramp, which currently leads down to an underground car park.
These first Smithfield images will be added to as further detail on the concept designs emerge later this year as the City of London develops Parliamentary submission to move its food markets to Dagenham Dock in East London.