NING ZHANG - A new Market as an urban park
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A new Market as an urban park


Mixed Use  /  Future
The project got a Merit Award from American Institute of Architects (AIA) Savannah Chapter 2020 and an Excellence Award from American Institute of Architects (AIA) Georgia 2019.

Since the 1970s immigration in Guelph has been on the rise, and now makes up about 20% of the population. The immigrant population is often highly educated and offers a diverse set of expertise that is seen as a potential benefit for the city. A revamped and expanded market hall can spur an increase in local economies and serve as an educational resource and a new community center.

Downtown Guelph is going through many changes and has a long-term urban renewal plan designed to help densify the downtown area, make improvements to the existing streetscape, and help make downtown more pedestrian. Two immediate improvements are currently underway on either side of the proposed site. To the east, the Guelph Police Station is being renovated and expanded, and to the west, a new parkade is underway on Wilson street.

The city of Guelph, Ontario has a history of being oriented around food. The first plans of the city were drawn with prominent consideration given to the location of the market hall which was intended to help attract farmers to the surrounding area. Over time the market hall has moved locations but has remained within the same block of its original home.

Today the market resides in what used to be the horse stables for the Provincial Winter Fair, where it has remained since the 1920s. While the market hall is active and relatively successful it is limited in size and scope by its current location. A new market hall with improved pedestrian access and an expanded program will help to densify and activate downtown Guelph. The site for the new market hall will be in the same location as the current Guelph farmer’s market but expanded to include the entire block currently shared with the Armory building. Today the Armory is home to the 11th Field Regiment of the Canadian Artillery, and also has a large assembly hall which is commonly used for local festivals and events.

The current downtown Guelph redevelopment plan indicates that the proposed site is a potential location for a new public park space and the head of a small greenway that expands to the east of the site. The project is proposed to have a public park component and take these plans into consideration. Additionally, the design strengthens pedestrian connections to the Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, to the riverfront, and to the downtown center either by bridging over or tunneling under the adjacent train tracks.

The project aims to explore how the design of a food market, as a community hub, can strengthen social connections, improve economics, and make a meaningful impact on the city center's quality. Food markets have a long history of being a place where families, friends, and visitors can come together to enjoy food and music and have a shared experience. It’s a place of food in as much as it is a place of interaction.

The project is divided into three zones, the left zone functions with the food market and food stalls. The right zone is designed with restaurant and educational classrooms and a performance hall. The zone in the middle is going to be residential and its lower lever function is the back of the house which offers storage and maintenance area for market. The upper level from the 4th floor to the 11th floor is the residential part including studio, 2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom types. The downtown area is so crowded and lacks open spaces for people to gather. Tons of people who came here for vacations and tourism, enjoying Lady of Church, city hall, train station need to have a rest in the proposed urban park to enjoy beer, listening to music and open area.

The elevated courtyard also is a key fixture and is the core organization space to improve the spatial flexibility and enthusiasm and to create the landscape charm of garden culture. The waving urban park with wrinkled peaks and hidden attics encourage the interplay of the various levels of streets and pedestrian.


 198750 mq
 Ning Zhang
 Ning Zhang


Ning Zhang (1986, Wuhan, China) graduated with a master's degree in Architecture both in Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China, and a master's degree in Architecture from Savannah College of Art and Design in the United States. She began her career in architectural design in China, then pursue advanced degrees in professional architecture in the US. She is experienced in the planning, concept design, and production of design drawings and documents. Ning enjoys sketching designs and renderings. She excels in technical skills with her knowledge of 3D Modeling, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality. Ning is working as an architectural designer in Atlanta, GA, United States. She is working closely with the project team to understanding and conceptual design of a project. Now she is involved in diverse projects such as retail, mixed-use, hotel, residential, school design projects and will continue the pursue her career in the US.

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