Discerning foodies in Quebec will soon have a beautiful new market to buy their locally grown fare. Local architectural firms Bisson Associés and Atelier Pierre Thibault are at the final stages of converting the Pavillon du Commerce, which dates back to 1923, into the light-filled Grand Marché, a public market that features aquaponics systems.

indoor public market with large staircase

As one of Quebec’s most beloved buildings, the architects were determined to retain as many original features of the nearly century-old Pavillon du Commerce as possible while turning it into a modern public market. The renovation managed to conserve the building’s beautiful wooden ceilings and brick walls as well as its original columns and pediments.

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indoor public market with massive wood staircase

indoor market with oval stalls

Although the new market, which boasts a whopping 96,875 square feet, retains a lot of the building’s original features, the architectural team managed to implement a number of modern materials into the new space. For instance, the interior facades of the building as well as the individual stalls were all constructed using CLT panels. The market will also be equipped with an on-site food waste management system that collects organic matter to be sent to the city’s biomethanation plant.

indoor market with oval wood stalls

indoor market with concrete floors and wooden partition

According to the architects, the new market was designed to be a city landmark and general meeting place. The stalls are carefully placed in a village-like layout meant to foster socialization. The interior space is bathed in natural light thanks to large skylights and fully-opening windows on the south-facing facade, and it also features a wooden, bleacher-like staircase where people can sit and chat.

indoor market with oval stalls

men working on round planting area

In addition to selling local fare, the market will include a family space for workshops, a cooking school, an urban gardening education center and a technology showcase that highlights agro-food innovation.

indoor market with mezzanine level

wood mezzanine level overlooking an indoor market

To focus on sustainable food growth, the market is working with the Institute on Nutrition and Functional Foods to install an aquaponics system and a mycelium incubator in the market. Not only will this space be used to sustainably grow food, but it will also be designed as a training and research center for the general public.

+ Bisson Associés

+ Atelier Pierre Thibault

Photography by Maxime Brouillet via v2com