New Watford Market

New Watford Market

Architect
tp Bennett LLP

Structural Engineer
AECOM

Steelwork Contractor
Nationwide Structures Ltd

Main Contractor
TSP

Client
Watford Borough Council

With a restricted budget and a tight one year delivery schedule, using recycled shipping containers was a cost-effective way of creating an open and inviting contemporary look and feel. The canopy roof was seen as a key feature.

An independent steel frame to support the canopy has been carefully detailed and the use of elliptical hollow sections for the portal frame columns and beams is both economical and elegant.

Every steel detail has been carefully considered, with the smallest connections designed to offer a modern, sleek look. The stretched fabric is raised up in conical forms with the use of stainless steel cables acting on a central glazed ring in the centre of each cone. These 1.5m diameter rings allow natural light to stream through. The lighting design works in harmony with the canopy, using fittings that project light both up and down.

Judges’ Comment

This is an inventive response to an awkwardly shaped site next to a noisy ring road with restricted access. It successfully employs a neatly detailed prefabricated tubular frame with a membrane canopy under which shipping containers provide lockable market stalls.

The new market has proved popular with traders and public alike.