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City Deep Johannesburg Market

Project: South Deep Fresh Produce Market

Location: City Deep, Johannesburg South

Client: Ntsika Architects

Team Members: Cenette Dippenaar, Dario Long and Christine van Zyl

Status: Terminated


The South Deep Fresh Produce Market is currently the largest fresh produce market in the world.


It is located in an industrial area in Johannesburg and much of the business that takes place there is in the form of bulk buying and selling between business, such as restaurants and grocery stores, and the producers themselves.

A large part of what takes place is the loading and unloading of stock from trucks, and as a result, a large portion of the site is prioritized for vehicular usage.

Design Node was approached to design an upgrade for the site which would create more of a retail atmosphere; with some of the site dedicated to a smaller and more intimate market space where people could come and buy produce as groceries for the week, as an example.


These spaces would need to be roofed and have some green and/or open space so as to allow for a more social and recreational atmosphere as opposed to the large scale industrial undertaking atmosphere taking place within the larger halls.


It is proposed that between some of the halls there are roof structures implemented so that there is the possibility of the smaller market type activities spilling out directly from the halls themselves.


With the implementation of the market space type interventions, there are requirements that need to be met so that the site becomes accessible.

As a result there have been some additions to the site in terms of parking bays for motor vehicles and a taxi rank which lies outside the site boundary but has an access gate to the site itself. There is currently a bus stop which lies just outside of the main entrance, and one which lies just within the site boundary.


Despite these implementations, the design manages to maintain the circulation of the larger trucks, which are essential for the life of the market.

The site sits on the border of a river which runs out of the Wemmer Pan dam.  This very natural area creates the idea that more can be done with the site itself in terms of environmental sustainability. Due to the nature of the market, Design node has proposed the idea of a worm farm, or something of the like, where any produce which is no longer fit for consumption can be deposited and transformed into nutrient rich soil.


This creates the opportunity for other creative and educative activities to take place, such as agricultural studies.

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