QVM's Market Garden Pavilion reduced to half its original size

QVM's Market Garden Pavilion reduced to half its original size
QVM's Market Garden Pavilion reduced to half its original size

Last year Urban.com.au reported that the City of Melbourne had voted in favour of revised draft plans for the Q2 area of the Queen Victoria Market Renewal Project. The endorsed scheme reduced the size of the footprint of works in exchange for a deeper excavation for the below-ground facilities at the western end of Sheds A, B, C & D. 

As a result, the eastern sections of the sheds, adjacent to Queens Street, no longer require removal meaning that fewer fruit and veg traders will be disrupted.

This, in turn, has resulted in Breathe Architecture's design for the Market Garden Pavilion - to be located along Queens Street - being reduced down to 111m, from the initial length of 254m originally proposed. The $7.4 million structure will be built on the northern end of Queen Street, providing space for displaced traders once the redevelopment of Q2 commences.

According to documentation prepared by town planners Contour acting on behalf of the City of Melbourne, other key changes to the original design are summarised below:

  • Slight reduction in the width of the pavilion from east to west from 19 metres to 17.7 metres.
  • Removal of seven plane trees in the location of the proposed pavilion in accordance with recommendations of both the project arborist (Tree Logic) and Council’s arborist.
  • Reduction in the extent of ‘netting’ associated with the greenhouse.
  • Relocation of the amphitheatre bleacher seating from north to south and reversal from the west to the east side.
  • Reversal of northern stair from the west to the east side.
  • Conversion of the double height bay where the plane trees were located to additional greenhouse area.
  • Retention of the amenities block.
  • Removal of cool rooms from the market carpark.
  • The three-bay Greenhouse structure is modified to include five bays over the width and length of a steel platform.

Market Garden serves as a temporary trading pavilion that initiates a layered programmatic and experiential outcome for the trader, shopper and visitor.

Through contextual ground floor markings and super graphics that reference and describe the narrative of the current site, traders will have a defined place of business beneath a productive and seasonal greenhouse.

Market Garden is not about redefining the way traders interact with their customers, it’s about respecting and maintaining the iconic market experience, movement and feel, ensuring that stallholders are able to continue trading as they know and enjoy in a temporary environment.

- Breathe Architecture Design Response

QVM's Market Garden Pavilion reduced to half its original size
The intended Market Garden Pavilion. Image: Breathe Architecture

Breathe Architecture's design for the Market Garden pavilion comprises two key parts; the 1,560 sqm Trading Hall and the upper-level Greenhouse.

Trading Hall

Fruit and vegetable stalls affected by market renewal works (sheds A – D) will be relocated in a flexible and adaptable open trading floor - sheltered, shaded and cooled beneath a high canopy. Visual and pedestrian permeability will be maintained to the upper market while also providing functional solutions for events, and trading logistics of loading and unloading.  

Upper-level access and amphitheatre seating will be included at the south end of the pavilion providing a gathering and event space.


The intended Greenhouse is based on other urban farm models around the world.

Located above the trading floor is an enclosed, functioning greenhouse with a portion of hospitality trading. It's expected the greenhouse will become both a productive and educational tool laden with crops that can be seen, touched and smelled.

Market Garden will promote conversation around food security and how we obtain it plus how we consume and dispose of excess food. It will be reflective of the market life cycle, growing and functioning both day and night while also providing welcome relief from heat island effect. 

Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir is one of the co-founders of Urban Melbourne. Laurence has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience working in both the private and public sector specialising in architecture, urban design and planning. He also has a keen interest in the built environment, cities and Star Wars.

QVM redevelopment Breathe Architecture

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