Madison Shell's Community Market

2018 National DiscoverDesign Competition:


Design a community market in McKinley park that can serve to the general public. This building will be a great resource to the community surrounding it by providing access to fresh local foods and more. It will improve access to resources and will act as a great community gathering place. This space will not only bring social benefits into the area but also improve the local economy in the area by allowing for retail stores, local restaurants, and more. With the area close to the Chicago transit station and many thriving neighborhoods, there is no doubt that this market will not be a great place for the surrounding community.

Collect Info

Through this informational study, I have collected and learned all about local markets and what they are doing for the community's surrounding them. I have learned what is in most markets, what they need to function, how they need to connect to the community surrounding them, and much more. Through the four case studies I researched, I found what some famous markets have and look like and what can be put in the McKinley Park market to make it a huge success like the rest. With the research I found about the Chicago Transit Authority I was able to figure out how to better connect the market to the community and the stations around the park area. The Chicago trains and bus stops all over allow for great public access to the park. The food desert research taught me what this was and why it is a problem. It showed me why this project for the area was important to stop the food desert crisis from growing. The transit-oriented design research helped me to understand why the community around the local stations are booming and why is important for this local market to be a part of this growing spot to help in keeping the area alive and well. Finally, the research done on McKinley Park showed me what the area surrounding the park was like and what all it had to offer. Overall the research done helped me grow in my understanding of this project and why it is important.

Brainstorm Ideas

During the brainstorming process, I completed multiple things that led to the overall layout and design of the McKinley Park Market. I completed a site plan which shows the area which the market will be built and also what is in the community surrounding the lot. The bubble diagram which shows the first sketch of where items in the lot will be placed, the basic size of these areas, and how they will flow together. Also included are the images of the final sketches that were made all throughout the process and the basic layout of the community market.

Develop Solutions

In the develop solutions stage of the project I worked on creating the overall layout and design of the market. This market was designed to be an open community space available for all ages. Complete with a library work annex, a splash park, meeting rooms, and multiple restaurants there is truly something for everyone in this outdoor market. On the first level, there is a coffee shop and library annex that welcome people onto the grounds. To the left is the open pavilion. This area was designed to hold a farmers market to provide fresh fruits, vegetables, and other goods to the surrounding area. In the center is the main building. Inside this building is a food court with three different dining options, a reception and lounge area with elevators, and a nice sit-down restaurant on the far end which are all located on the first floor. The second floor houses an office area for all workers of the outdoor market, a second lounge area elevators, and an open rooftop eating area that corresponds with the restaurant below. The third and final floor simply is an elevator and lounge area that takes people from the open market to the other side of the tracks for boarding the train. In the open outside space, there is a splash park that is open during the summer for kids to run and play in. Also in this area is the local food truck space where food trucks from around the area can park and sell food. Lastly in this area and being a huge part of the community is the outdoor art wall. This wall is located on the side of the far restaurant close to the splash park where local artist can display their work for all to see connecting the Chicago area with art from around the world.

Final Design

During this stage of the project, I worked on designing the interior of the market and setting it all up to bring it to life. This included the outdoor seating, the outdoor eating areas, the placing of the lights, creating the rooftop restaurant, planting all the trees and gardening, and decorating all of the interior areas. In this step, my goal was to create a warm and inviting space for the community. I wanted to make a place that everyone felt comfortable visiting and wanted to come back after leaving. I wanted to make it a fun and open space where people could come to work, come for a meal, or bring their family to come and enjoy the local area. Overall I worked to make it a welcoming place and in the overall final design, I think I completed this goal.


Competition Jury 9 months ago
I love the way your market directly connects to transit. The cafe provides a good gathering space. Good job completing well thought through research.