Graphic Design / Photography / Print / Research

Market Day

Shrewsbury Market Hall: A Day in the Life

A journalistic ‘current history’ of life inside the love-it-or-hate-it Market Hall building in Shrewsbury.

Designed in 1965 by the award-winning architect David du Roi Aberdeen, the Brutalist style Market Hall building in Shrewsbury causes much contention. This record of the day-to-day from inside the landmark building reflects the people who use it.

The first Covid-19 Lockdown of 2020 dropped right in the middle of the project bringing an unexpected show of resilience from those involved recorded in the images.

Some see the building as an eyesore intruding on the surrounding architectural mix of much loved Mediaeval, Georgian and Victorian buildings. Others love it because of this contrast and its individuality.

The Pevsner Architectural Guide pronounced the new Market Hall “a good example of modern architecture”. With modern building materials of concrete, glass and metal being used, Pevsner talks of the “clean lines and simple forms. The town’s timber-framed traditions are evoked – the upper storey is jettied out on a reinforced concrete structure and faced with vertical black fins in an echo of close studding”.

We wanted the design to be dripping with references to the Pevsver synopsis; “clean lines and simple forms…vertical black fins in an echo of close studding”.

The strong, clean vertical lines outside are brought through to the layout using narrow full-length columns, stark white space and the Compacta typeface from 1963 with its industrial appearance, a popular genre in the early 1960s, used throughout.

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