It has been a long time coming but detailed plans for the underground facilities at QVM’s A-D Shed precinct are now out for Trader and public comment. Here are some first impressions.
Ho-hum - this is not a comment on a significant construction project but on how little will have visually changed when it is completed. A lot of new features will be available underground but above ground will look pretty much as it always has. Of course this has been the intention all along with a lot of emphasis on retaining the original historical nature of the market. If the artistic representations are an accurate guide, that intent has succeeded.
Fancy Facilities - at last some essential services have been brought into the 21st Century with rubbish handling and cleaning facilities. Even traders can keep clean with shower and change room facilities.
Produce Handling - will the placement of service lifts give adequate access to produce stalls considering that forklifts will be banned in favour of pallet lifters above ground? One trader was surprised to see that lifts were not more accessible for more traders.
No Weather Protection - apart from more comprehensive insulation on shed roofs. The areas adjacent to laneways will continue to be subject to Melbourne’s wind and rain. The opportunity to meet 21st Century comfort expectations for consumers appears to have been missed.
What are your impressions?