There were three key goals to the re-development of the Open Market.
- To act as a catalyst to the regeneration of London Road.
- To turn it into a continental style covered market taking advantage of the trends in the growth of markets, and the public’s growing interest in food related environmental issues, providing a one-stop shopping experience for fresh, healthy, local produce in a covered purpose-built environment.
- To give the market more visibility from both London Road and the Level.
The new market looks to create a sense of place within London Road and the wider context. A direct covered link between London Road and Ditchling Road reinforces the historical relationship and enhances the market’s presence on both frontages, although as built the covered link did not extend as far as the proposed concept and vision. The distinctive saw tooth canopy roof which provides natural light and ventilation, is used to both advertise the market to passing trade and as a device to draw people into a new market square at the centre of the scheme. The market square is surrounded by stalls and is a flexible space with the ability to be used as an event space and visiting markets.
The Open Market is part of a larger development and looks to reinstate Francis Street as a mews, with the “garage doors” on the north side providing delivery access to the market with housing above and on the other side of the street. Additional housing is also provided to the north of the market, framing both entrances.
The provision is for 44 market stalls, accompanied by 12 artist/craft workshops at first floor level where occupiers produce and retail their products. The whole development is supported by 87 affordable housing units.