Renewal plans for Preston Market in Melbourne approved

Renewal plans for the Preston Market in Melbourne have received approval from the City of Darebin.

The $4-million market renewal has been designed by NH Architecture with Breathe Architecture. NH Architecture also developed the most recent masterplan for the market precinct.

The project is being developed by Preston Market Developments, a partnership between Salta Properties and Medich Corporation.

The much-anticipated market renewal is the first stage of the development included in the masterplan. Works include updating the roofing over the main walkways, improved public amenities, parent rooms, new kids play areas, public walkways and a new customer information centre.

“We’re looking at quite a bit of work in terms of repositioning the market but now what’s happening is really one of incremental change. It’s using a lot of what’s existing and reusing it and it’s sort of modest interventions into the existing building fabric,” said Peter Dredge, principal at NH Architecture.

Later stages for the development of the Preston Market surrounds include three apartment buildings, located near the northern quarter of the market, which are currently awaiting approval. NH Architecture will be designing two buildings named Laneway and Station, while Breathe Architecture will design a third nine-storey building called The Loft.

“It’s not on top of the existing market, but below the apartments will be a little bit more retail and it’s really about continuing the character of the market all the way through to Murray Road,” Dredge said.

The renewal also includes environmental and sustainability initiatives such as the installation of solar panels on the market roof, onsite waste treatment, recycling improvements and smart building technologies, which will reduce the carbon footprint of the market.

Breathe Architecture worked with sustainability consultants Umow Lai on how to approach the sustainability of the precinct as a whole. Included among the technologies is a large photovoltaic array, a water capture system and a dehydration system for organic matter that reduces waste.

“It’s an automatic system that has a bacteria in it and a heating element and an agitator which takes organic matter. Imagine 50 fruit and vegetable stands throwing out cabbage peels or banana skins and at the end of the day you put that into the dehydrator and it reduces the mass of that organic matter by 90 percent over a 12-hour period,” said Jeremy McLeod, director at Breathe Architecture.

Plans to refurbish the Preston Market were first put forward in a March 2007 incorporated plan by Salta Properties, Medich Corporation and Urbis.

The development was slated to start in 2009, but Preston Market Developments put the project on hold due to “financial and other factors,” the Herald Sun reported. The project was delayed again in 2014.

The launch of the Fresh Hood Market in July 2016 marked the start of the renewal. The Fresh Hood Market is an extension of the Preston Market site that brings together food, art and live music.

“You can see Preston is changing enormously with that tsunami of culture coming up High Street, it’s quite an extraordinary transformation,” Dredge said.

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