Back to the traditional market
Revitalization of Jianguomen Vegetable Market by inserting composite spaces and functions
project overview
As urbanization advances, the news of old food courts being converted or demolished is endless. At the same time, standardized and supermarket supermarkets emerged, but the cold merchandise display shelves and quiet background music always lack a sense of life. So, how should the food market be in a new era? We hope that the hustle and bustle of the past can still be emitted and staged, so we build a "stage" box, hoping to rebuild the intricate relationship between people & people, people & food and food & the city.
Aug. - Sep. 2021
6 weeks
Survey, Interview, Affinity diagram, Hardware Prototyping, Think-Aloud.
01 Problem Space —
China's old vegetable markets face obsolescence
"II often come to Jianguomen Vegetable Market to buy food because it is lively, and I can chat with people I know. There is no such feeling in the supermarket."

The Jianguomen Vegetable Market is very messy. Every morning at four o'clock, vendors have to get up and have no time to care about their children. The children played in the chaotic environment every day. Traffic congestion, poor ventilation, garbage piles and sewage everywhere, odor filled the traditional marketplace. These phenomena have become synonymous with the market.

In addition, the single spatial and functional form of the Jianguomen food market is difficult to carry and induce multi-faceted activities. After analyzing the problems and the reasons for their occurrence, we set the design direction on creating a composite space and composite functions to guide the activities of the nearby community and thus enhance the vitality of the market area in all aspects.

02 Strategy 01 —
Modulized detachable frame
We used the demountable structure to place new functions within the market and extend them to the inner street. We broke the original market's spatial boundaries and made the space permeable while placing composite functions.

The following new functions, the formation of new spaces, and other new behaviors are also based on the flexible organization of the demountable structure.
02 Solution 01 —
Variable functions - Sales & Public activities
With the moveable framework system we designed, merchants and residents can flexibly arrange their functions according to the pre-defined framework. The customizable modules allow merchants to choose and change the functions whenever needed. The customizable framework enables users to arrange gatherings, flea markets, and other activities on the prefabricated framework, providing an opportunity for rich community activities.

We added new business formats such as supermarkets, restaurants, and Internet services to the market. To meet the needs of modern online shopping, we added home delivery, online shopping, etc.
03 Strategy 02 —
"Stage" boxes system to show people's diverse lives
We built "stage" boxes, hoping to reconstruct the intricate relationship between people and people, people and food, food and the city.

03 Solution 02 —
Extracting and translating traditional market spaces
In the past, Along the River During the Qingming Festival recorded the most vivid city life of the Song Dynasty on a scroll. Today, we hope that the hustle and bustle of the past can still be emitted and staged.

We extracted seven representative spatial intentions of Along the River During the Qingming Festival: 01.Listening to music on the stage; 02.selling on the street' looking at each other by the fence; 03.gathering to watch the performance. in the courtyard; 05.overlooking the long street and 06.looking at each other across the river.

We summarized them into five scenes and abstracted them into the form of space in the building in an attempt to return to the prosperous city scene in Along the River During the Qingming Festival.

Listen to the yells
The scene is a transcreation of a traditional street scene. The beam structure of ancient stores is abstracted, and the overhanging boxes on the upper floor are used to create a gray space for buying and selling on both sides of the marketplace.
Appreciate opera
This scene is a translation of the traditional theater space. We abstracted the height difference of communication between the ancient theater stage and the audience. The performance box is hung over the core courtyard to interact with the audience on Main Street.
Strolling the Yard
This scene is a translation of the traditional courtyard space, abstracting the enclosing and centripetal nature of the courtyard space and creating a relationship between seeing and being seen through the second floor connecting corridor.
Appreciate Calligraphy
This scene is a translation of ancient bridge spaces. Pedestrians walk on the "bridge" and watch exciting things under the "bridge." The calligraphy exhibition and the shouting are overwhelming.
Watch the opposite street
This scene is a transcription of the traditional street scene. The abstraction of the ancient scene across the street and the stage performance in the center make the depth and events richer.
Gathering conversation
This scene is a translation of the traditional street corner scene. Here, people of all shapes and sizes gather, the concave and convex border forms are more inclusive, and people meet and start talking.
04 Strategy 03 —
Selected Direction and concepts
In the early morning, each "stage" is staged with all kinds of performances, and the old people slowly walk past holding their young grandchildren, where the old and the new alternate, passing on the local culture of the next generation, and life becomes more relaxed.
04 Solution 03 —
Time-varying functions

In the building, a series of boxes are set up for selling special snacks and beverages.

Outside of the building, the modular structure is left vacant, and the nearby residents are free to set the functions. On holidays, the outdoor stalls will be replaced with activity plazas.
The original project's first floor moved up, and the ground was designed for civic activities. The modular structure gives the ground floor the possibility to arrange functions freely.
05 Solution 04 —
Water circulation system
We have set up a water recycling system integrated into the frame system. We use the roof to collect rainwater, which is used to water the plants and clean the market. We also use the greenery to lower the room's temperature, thus increasing the length of time the food stays fresh. In addition, we collect wastewater from the fruit and vegetable area and the aquatic area into a wastewater purification tank, which is purified and used in the heating system.
Let’s connect!
Last Updated - November2021
Copyright © Zhiyong Kong 2021