La Dallman’s entry for the Milwaukee Public Market Competition sought to knit together Milwaukee’s urban fabric, and become a compelling icon for the city and the market. The Market Hall was conceived of as an interior urban arcade connecting the vibrant pedestrian life of Downtown’s Water Street with the Third Ward’s historic Commission Row. An open-air seasonal market structure would draw pedestrians south along Water Street, through the wood-lined, dramatically lit Market Hall, and onto a sunny plaza at the north end of Commission Row.
The project’s material palette of masonry, weathering steel panels, and wood, was chosen to resonate with the rich colors and textures of the Historic Third Ward. Its simple, pragmatic massing and clear expression of parts was similarly intended to evoke the unique industrial quality of this former warehouse district.
Visible from the freeway above, the market’s roofscape would become an icon for the city and a symbol for the environmental mission of the market. A green roof, planted with indigenous grasses and wildflowers, would be punctuated by a collection of playfully scale light boxes that would paint the Market with light by day, and become luminous sculptures by night.
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