Samoo design to transform redundant Garak Wholesale Market
Just a quarter of a century old and the original Garak Wholesale Market has turned sour with residents complaining about traffic congestion and a rather unappealing smell from leftover vegetables amounting due to an inefficient logistics system. Enter Samoo Architects & Engineers who's new plans for the space will now be realised after winning a design competition to regenerate the dingy market. Their plans are drastic and will generate, among many improvements, a massive 131 acre green park roof.
While correcting the issues from the original market a new public realm will be generated with the roof functioning as a giant public garden and a continuous pedestrian path along the East-West axis. The sinuous U-shaped landscape is set to provide a flexible public space for diverse recreational, sports and cultural activities and turn the market into a landmark for the city.
Below and around the undulating roof, floor space of almost 556,000 sq m will provide both wholesale and retail facilities, provided through two phases. The two functions will be distinctive and separate with a focus on efficiency within the wholesale quarter, and festivity within the retail quarter. The navigation and location of produce has been managed based on lessons learnt from the previous design. For example, the rotten smells generated during late Fall’s peak season were derived from the Korean authentic tradition of making and preserving Kimchi, or pickled cabbage and other vegetables, at year’s end. So the area for radish and cabbage auction will now be located on a basement level to avoid smell at different levels and ensure quick auction and distribution. Three pavilions with enhanced daylight and ventilation via Eco-tubes will replace two existing structures to provide a greater footprint for fruit and vegetables. Fisheries and Meat pavilions will be located at the northern edge to allow better access from delivery vehicles and will emit a night glow to give visual presence towards the transport.
An 18 storey office tower block presents as two slightly leaning oval shapes forming from a central atrium space that can be used for meetings and refreshment zones for the office staffs.
Realising the enormity of the masterplan from a pedestrian perspective, Phase 1, which will establish the market as a retail hub, will be broken down into several sectors. The outer band or public façade is broken into five smaller, street friendly, elements. The most important retail element is on the prominent southeast corner where two major roads intersect,
and two subway lines share a station. This small retail element, the Gourmet Town, "takes on the role of an iconic
piece, a beautiful jewel that evokes the curiosity of commuters and visitors," say Samoo.