Text description provided by the architects. Jaffa Port Market is a new culinary shopping and entertainment venue for food and lifestyle with stalls that offer a vibrant and exciting experience inspired by the historical, cultural, and culinary legacy of its location at the heart of Warehouse 1 in the regenerated port area on the waterfront. It is open to the port, the docks, and the seafront promenade.
The wide-spaced area, that in its distant past once functioned as a collection point for goods from all over the world, takes up an area of over 1200 square meters and features a gallery, indoor and outdoor seating areas, passageways looking into open-plan kitchens; allowing visitors to wander amongst the different businesses and gain an uninhibited vantage point of the tastes, smells and colors. The eclectic mix of stalls was rigorously selected to cater to a varied audience of food connoisseurs, tourists and youngsters, families and local residents and there are both permanent businesses and alternating pop-up stalls, while some stalls offer a culinary experience, others also trade in lifestyle and design.
The port, the building and the brief presented quite a complex architectural challenge. The building envelope was a hollow with a core in the middle, with conservation and planning restrictions. The brief required a large amount of modern kitchen systems including complex ventilating shafts, individual electric infrastructure for every shop, fire safety, plumbing, sanitation etc.
The question of how to approach the project as designers was very interesting and involved an abundant of exciting possibilities: the current surrounding of the port, the original role of the building as a storehouse for goods and the versatility of the history of the port. Questioning what an urban market was, we examined existing urban food markets as case studies, followed be a search for identity. The materials were inspired by the port – the sea, fishing nets, the steel structure of the warehouse and the rundown wooden boats docking out in the water. Our palette of materials included Stainless Steel mesh, solid wood, steel sheets and grey bricks; materials that would weather naturally in the salty and humid location. While providing a characteristic yet neutral setting, we allowed a certain amount of freedom for each shop owner to express their personal passion for the world of food. Shop owners who came along, were given a booklet with outlined planning guidance.
The stainless steel mesh was the most prominent component: it had several functional aspects significant for the design; The strong material was stretched from the high ceilings of the warehouse defining the zoning of each stall and celebrating the height. It was also intended for hanging goods and lights with hooks. The signage was cut letter by letter and attached directly onto the mesh. The mesh acts as a separating device on the one hand but on the other hand it connects the different stalls together providing unique unity, passage of daylight and a clear view through the dense space.
An experienced team of Israeli and foreign entrepreneurs are behind the wheel of Jaffa Port Market. The unique and beloved blend of food, design and art, old and new, traditional and trendy that the city of Jaffa has to offer was our guiding light at each stage of development.
Some of the stalls were individually deigned also by our team: Tapas Bar, gourmet sausage bar, Pizza & Pasta bar, fresh fruit bar, Silber – Roast Beef Bar, sweet shop, Humus bar and bakery.