Saturday, September 17, 2011

Quote of the Day: Roanoke City Market Building 'Mediocre'

John Garland
"My personal opinion is that the [Roanoke City] Market Building could have been so much more for downtown Roanoke. Architecturally, it is mediocre and what it was previously is much more pleasing and warm. They intentionally took it back to the meat market look [with] concrete floors, white glazed brick, stainless steel counters, etc. It is a cold institutional space and it deserved much more.[It is] quite disappointing to me and others that I have talked to. And to open with one vendor that sells fried food. I hope it gets better soon.”

--John Garland, Spectrum Design (in a post about his new projects downtown here.)

1 comment:

  1. I agree with John completely about the aesthetics of the building...but more is the loss of the a viable business plan..John was part of our team that put together the "Coalition's renovation and business strategy which also included David O'Neil for Project for Public Spaces- the worlds authority on Markets...they have just completed the Historic Charleston Market along with the Central Market in Florence Italy...One of the guiding principles in our study was creating a space that was flexible and allowed for Saturday and Sunday Market Days....the design was such that the Market Building would not only have Food Vendors but could double and be flexible enough to allow the Farmers and Vendors to utilize the outside spaces to sell on weekend days and be also used for Food seating in other times...the goal was to position the Market from a business stand point as something different from any food vendors...partnering with Hospitals for health food options...create a Community Center....Festivals..Events...partnering with the school system...We all believe to position the Market Building for the future it should not be a Food needed to be more....We studied for over a year other successful Markets around the country to come up with what we thought was a viable design and business plan...the emphasis was not not as much on Retail and Food Court although we did allocate enough space for 8 Food Vendors..with both flexible seating on the ground level and additional roof top seating....John's group took all of this into consideration in its would have highlighted Local Healthy Foods- Farmers...Dairy's...Meats...a return to what the Market area was originally designed for in a bustling urban environment.. and become a part of our Community...the key was Flexibility of the space and maximize the usage for day and night - 7 days a week...I'm afraid what we have is a Food Court with retail space that few can afford....