Central Market Clock Tower and Lift, Adelaide
Our design was a dynamic but straightforward structure; bold but not domineering
Australian Institute of Architects, Award of Merit (Civic Architecture), 1999
RAIA Top 100 Significant 20th Century South Australian Architecture
The Central Market is an Adelaide icon, the geographic and cultural heart of the city. Its produce stalls, specialty shops, and food outlets are a magnet for an eclectic range of shoppers, visitors, and bohemians from the city and beyond. Tectvs was asked to design a new entry statement on the market’s Gouger Street frontage in the form of a lift/stair tower. It was to take people from the ground-level retail area to the two upper levels of car parking, provide a feature pedestrian entrance and form a better window to market activity from the street. The architecture had to address the character and function of the market complex, including the conspicuous heritage-listed south building, and the urban streetscape.
Tectvs drew on the market environment for its design references – hardworking, dynamic, agricultural. The diverse workings and cultural make-up of the market are exposed for all to see; the market’s soul is always bared. The design of the lift tower adopted this ‘what you see is what you get’ character, allowing people to view and experience the workings of the tower rather than hiding them in the way of the typical service core. Materials were selected for their capacity to weather and age with dignity, require minimum maintenance, and be ‘street-wise’ in their urban context. The tower was steel-framed and brick-clad, with a glass-walled lift and a clock feature of copper, stainless steel and Perspex with a 50-year no-maintenance rating. External landings were reinforced concrete with steel edge beams. All services, details, and fixtures were exposed where building codes permitted.