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The Pescatorium

Part 2 Project 2008
Frances Mcgeown
Liverpool John Moores University UK
The Pescatorium – a theatre of the marketplace unveils and celebrates the process of a fishery.
The concept of a ‘pescatorium’ dates back to ancient Rome, it was a term used to describe the fish quarter of a marketplace.
The scheme is a recreation of the traditional fish market, whilst embracing algaculture and nutrient re-processing – a place that fuses tradition and technology. Weaved throughout is a new public experience, which unveils these activities to the onlooker: landing and trading are dramatised, preparation becomes a performance, and ultimately consumption becomes a deeper, more engaging experience. Compositionally, the building has formed progressively and organically: from an initial analysis of the functional requirements of a working industrial building, to the movement of both the fish and algae, and a transposed public route. This grain of movement has been used as a device to set out the building, and create a three dimensional grid of intersecting vectors. The key components - the smoking chambers and growing tanks, cluster around and between the main movement lines.
Within the tanks, the fish stock produce nutrient rich water, which is harvested and combines with co2 from the smoke stacks, to produce accelerated algal growth – a superfood of the future.
The process moves to the filleting area. Wholesalers collectively gut and fillet the fish along large filleting tables. Onlookers are able to observe the skill of filleting from the viewing gantry above.
After filleting, fish are placed in the smoking chamber, they are hung on racks to dry - louvred panels allow airflow to pass through the shaft. The fish are then smoked.
Stalls located along the public walkway, act as eateries and trading units. Clad in semi-translucent panels, the visitor is able to sit, and observe the animated activities taking place around them.
The restaurants are located at the end of the ‘journey’. Visitors have a choice of two restaurants - fish or algae, for their route has unveiled both commodities, and the entire process has been physically experienced - from living organism to preparation, preservation and ultimately consumption.

Frances Mcgeown

The intricate three-dimensional matrix that underpins the Pescatorium provides a notional and physical framework for the design.

The deliberate and exaggerated fluidity of the ramps weave their way into the key spaces to articulate a multi-levelled theatrical spectacle for the delivery, storage, preparation and ultimately savouring of fish & seafood.

The typology of the traditional fish market is taken beyond programmatically and environmentally to include the storage of live fish, the witnessing of the filleting, the smoking chambers and propagation of spirulina as interrelated resources and events for the visitors thus creating a live forum for an all embracing experience.

Mr Philip Lo
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