The much-anticipated redesign for Sydney Fish Market now has a face attached to it. The NSW government confirmed yesterday that Danish architecture firm 3XN has won the tender process for the $250-million Blackwattle Bay project.

Last year, it was announced that the Sydney Fish Market would be relocated to a site around the corner from its current home at Blackwattle Bay. Still water-bound, the site selected for the new market backs onto Wentworth Park on the south side of the bay.

3XN were chosen for the new building after a rigorous tender process opened by the state government last year. The firm, which is also responsible for Sydney’s Quay Quarter Tower, were selected from a shortlist of six international designers. They were awarded for the contract based on indicative design sketches, which have now been made available.

The initial plans for the Danish-designed Sydney Fish Market demonstrate a significantly wider pedestrian space along the foreshore, bordered by a high level of retail and dining. A light wooden boardwalk, glass panelled-façades and a white, slatted canopy that overhangs outdoor spaces all reveal the subtle curves and light palette characteristic of Scandinavian architecture.


According to Sydney Fish Market’s general manager, Bryan Skepper, the reimagination of the Sydney icon will likely double visitor capacity to the site.

“At the moment we get 3 million visitors a year to the site and our modelling predicts that could go to 6 million,” according to quotes obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald.

In saying that, the government has made clear that existing sketches are indicative only, and may change in response to community consultation.

The new fish market will be designed and built by a design team, led by 3XN, and include Sydney firms BVN and Aspect Studios. UrbanGrowth NSW says it expects to have draft designs publicly available by the end of the year.