The historic Victorian Smithfield market is set to become part of a large cultural centre for London, sitting alongside a relocated Museum of London.
At the moment, Smithfield is home of the meat markets, but the City of London has outlined plans to move all three of its main food markets to a single site in Dagenham.
If the meat market goes to Dagenham as planned, then the newly emptied Victorian Smithfield market buildings are set to be converted into a cultural centre, and the first concept images of how the conversion from meat to culture have been shown off.
Both the Grade II* listed East and West Smithfield buildings and the Grade II Rotunda – which is the circular ramp leading to the subterranean car park are included in the plans, which will be a mix of work, cultural venues, education, and of course, lots of cafes and restaurants.
The architects, Studio Egret West said that the core theme is sustainable food production, preparation and consumption all under one roof, as well as the creation of flexible halls that could support the creative industries.
The early concept designs propose removing some of the modern additions to the market buildings, including the loading bays, canopy, and cold rooms to reveal the original Victorian structure. This would create four large, clear areas under the oversailing roof that would be adaptable for a wide range of future uses.
The main road through the middle could be pedestrianised, with stairs down to the huge triple height undercroft area, formerly used for railways to deliver meat to the market, and has never been open to the public and sits next to the rotunda, which may have a glazed roof added.
The City of London is now seeking feedback on the initial concepts for the site on a new website here as it works on more detailed designs later this year.
The video gives an idea of how large the interior spaces could be when the internal walls are removed.