Aberrant Architecture: Roaming Market

London-based studio Aberrant Architecture has created a mobile structure for the Lower Marsh Market in Waterloo, inspired by forgotten sixteenth century English market structures.

The Waterloo Quarter Business Improvement District (BID) has commissioned London-based studio Aberrant Architecture to design a new “roaming market” stall for the Lower Marsh Market in Waterloo, London. The new structure, a vivid blue mobile steel stall, is inspired by “totem” structures found on London’s historic street markets and Lambeth’s rich history of fortune tellers and mystics that used to be in the area in the sixteenth century.


Reusing the structure of a trailer chassis, and featuring a bespoke steel staircase with collpsible balustrades which allow for an extreme flexibility, the new "roaming market" will act as a local information point. Once it has arrived at its site, it will unfold into a multi-functional stall incorporating a covered seating area with built-in chess board, a stage on the roof for hosting events and performances and a “chicken” signpost for guiding people around the local area.

Top and above: Aberrant Architecture, Roaming Market, Lower Marsh Market, Waterloo, London, 2013
The new structure aims to continue the rejuvenation of the Lower Marsh Market, which was re-launched in 2011 by acting as a portable anchor around which new satellite markets can be created, and as a promotional and signage tool helping to draw people through the local area.
Aberrant Architecture, Roaming Market, Lower Marsh Market, Waterloo, London, 2013
The stall is inspired by the drawings of “totem” structures found in Hugh Alley’s idiosyncratic sixteenth century A Caveatt for the City of London, which were used as markers around and that different traders assembled, often representing the part of the country where the produce was from. In addition, the stall’s design is influenced by Lamberth’s history as a market area renowned for fortune tellers, mystics and peep shows. The giant chicken sign used at the top of the structure reflects stories of chickens that were used to tell people’s fortunes, a tradition that goes back to Roman times. The sign is also formed of images of livestock, food and household items, all sold on the “New Cut” market according to records from 1849.
Aberrant Architecture, Roaming Market, Lower Marsh Market, Waterloo, London, 2013. Photo ® Aberrant Architecture
"By reimagining historic market structures to reflect the unique character, noise, and atmosphere of the present day market the new stall marks the next step in Lower Marsh’s story. And, by providing playful opportunities to understand Lower Marsh Market life, the new structure offers something for everyone", states Aberrant Architecture co-founder Kevin Haley.  "This platform for shared experiences will host an annual programme of events and installations providing Lower Marsh with their very own mobile 'Fourth Plinth'," concludes Aberrant Architecture co-founder David Chambers.
Aberrant Architecture, Roaming Market, Lower Marsh Market, Waterloo, London, 2013

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