Design Concepts

The Madison Public Market design team is made up of architects, planners, and developers who are basing the interior and exterior designs on the following six priorities:

  • Creating a place where all people from all backgrounds feel welcome and included
  • Ensuring that, while beautiful, the Market feels warm, inviting, simple, and modest
  • Using natural materials that reflect the history, culture, and natural beauty of the Isthmus
  • Creating spaces within the Market that naturally encourage community gathering and place-making
  • Creating connections to nearby Burr Jones Field, Yahara River and the bike path
  • Making sure there is adequate parking available and easily accessible on site and that the traffic flow is efficient and seamless for large trucks and visitors who travel by all modes of transportation.

The Public Market project is a multi-use dynamic center that offers a variety of activities and experiences. Different key spaces within the Market include:

  • Market Hall: The Marquee of the Market, this large, central space with house 40+ permanent market merchant booths plus 3,000 square feet of event and temporary vending space to host winter farmer’s markets, live music, pop-up craft fairs and many other short-term events. There will always be something new to experience at the Market!
  • Outdoor Market Plaza: Adjoining Market Hall, will be an outdoor, flexible space that will allow for outdoor seating, a small stage for live music and other performances, artwork, and seasonal food carts.
  • Food Innovation Center: To better meet the demand for local food in larger institutions such as hospitals and schools, the Food Innovation Center will provide greatly needed space to increase local food production and workforce training. Thanks to the Center, the Public Market will help significantly increase access to local food in neighborhoods across our region.
  • Event space: From weddings to free nutrition classes to community meetings, flexible event space will be available 24/7 at the Market.
  • Children’s area: The Market will be a place for the oldest to the very youngest and for everyone in between. A child and family area for the kiddos will make this a great family destination.
  • Art spaces: The Public Market Foundation is working with multi-cultural leaders to pepper the Market with stories of local food history and traditions from a variety of local cultures that make up who we are as a community today. The Foundation is also partnering with the Madison Arts Commission to create a plan for local art displayed throughout the Market space.

After reviewing 11 different proposals from Madison and beyond, MSR architecture team, which also includes local experts Saiki Design (landscape architecture), Vierbicher (civil engineering) and Steve Stern with Boelter (food service and kitchen design), has been chosen to design our home for the Public Market. MSR’s recent Madison experience includes designing downtown Central Library, the Olbrich expansion, and the Madison Municipal Building renovation. Read more here.


“Madison’s Public Market will be a vibrant ecosystem for entrepreneurs and consumers. The lively sounds of music and conversations will resonate throughout the market. I look forward to seeing all the treasures of food and retail for all of Madison to experience.” - Mayra Medrano, Latino Chamber of Commerce

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