42 shipping containers transform historic Watford Market into modern architectural landmark.
New Watford Market – the story of how it was built.
Adaptainer were contacted by Watford Borough Council earlier this year about their plans for a new Watford Market made from converted shipping containers.
Watford is an English town, about 17 miles northwest of inner London.
The market is rich in history and has existed in both open air and covered locations in the town since around the 12th century.
In 1974 it moved to the Charter Place shopping centre where it has remained until now.
But the town wanted a new, vibrant market and were inspired by the idea of using shipping containers to create a fresh image that would turn the site into a landmark location.
The plan for the design included positioning 42 converted shipping containers over 2 levels into a central town centre location space measuring 1,620 square metres.
Once open the containers would be used by market traders to sell hot food and drink, fish, fruit and vegetables, jewellery, clothing and many other items.
Adaptainer conversion work starts.
A mixture of 10ft, 20ft and 40ft containers were selected from our container sale stock and delivered into the conversion workshop.
The cargo container doors were removed so that the 8ft wide opening space could later become the entrances for many of the retail units.
Apertures were then cut in the sides of the containers, sometimes it was a section large enough to house floor to ceiling glass windows or roller shutter doors. Other times it was so 2 containers could be joined together to form extra-large retail units once on site.
Conversion work continued in the workshop including:
- Vents fitted to the container side walls for extra air flow.
- Inlet points were added for extraction fans, water and electricity to be supplied to the units.
- Roof apertures for an air ducting system which would be used in containers preparing hot food.
- Re-painting of the containers in matte black colour.
The first phase of containers were delivered to the site and needed careful planning because of the limited space available.
Contractors TSP had installed a steel structure which would allow the containers to be positioned over 2 levels, with a staircase and elevator lift providing access to the upper level.
One by one the containers were craned into position and over the course of 3 further deliveries the market slowly started to take form.
Basically you are dealing with giant Lego bricks which can be modified and combined together in any format you choose. Jon Clark. Adaptainer co-founder.
Although the new Watford Market was designed to be an open air market it needed to provide rain protection so a giant canopy was installed. The canopy was chosen to also enhance the overall design of the market.
At this stage the contractors were vital in completing other aspects of the build including ground works, installing drainage, electricity supply, lighting, and a refuse disposal facility.
The result: A modern and vibrant Watford Market
At the soft opening of the market earlier this month it was clear that both customers and stall holders are very excited about the potential of their new shopping and eating venue.
Some market traders are reporting their best trading days ever.
Peter Williams who runs the stall Shuying said, ‘I think the new Watford Market is more modern than the old Watford Market, it’s unusual and up to date’.
That feeling is shared by elected Mayor of Watford, Dorothy Thornhill who said, ‘I am thrilled that we can offer the informality of market shopping within a very innovative space.’
The new Watford Market made from shipping containers was a joint collaboration between Adaptainer, TSP, AECOM and tp bennett.