Rio Architects

Design solutions for market spaces


Carmarthen Market





The Carmarthen Market is the pinnacle of the council’s regeneration scheme that benefits a significant area of West Wales, attracting interest from the local community and tourism.

Seeking to maintain the attraction and competitiveness of Carmarthen as a sub-regional centre, the council commissioned its development.

“This must be the best market in Wales, people will come just to see the building.”


Richard’s Cooked Meats – Market Stall

The contemporary landmark building is a unique design in Carmarthen’s urban landscape, creating a focal point and public square around the town’s Grade II listed clock tower. A flexible building footprint provides 70 market stall holders with individuality within a homogenous design that maintains Carmarthen’s historic values.

The form is rooted in three primary concept drivers. The monolithic Welsh blue pennant sandstone base which references Carmarthen’s medieval walled town that dates to 1223. The dramatic angled zinc-clad roof structure provides shelter and facilitates high-level glazing, integrating practicality with design. The building temperature is regulated by minimising solar gain and harnessing the northern daylight, optimising sustainability, cost-efficiency and tenant comfort – a direct response to environmental considerations and tenant feedback.

The market, external shops and public space around the Grade II listed clock tower create a focal point in Carmarthen’s urban landscape for the community and visitors.

Since the opening of the market, maintenance costs have been significantly reduced, and the town centre has seen an upturn in business.

“There has been quite a buzz of excitement about the new market. It is an absolutely stunning marketplace and is sure to be a huge hit with shoppers old and new.”

Clive Scourfield

Carmarthenshire County Council


CLAW (Consortium of Local Authorities in Wales) Building of the Year Winner 2011
RICS Wales Regeneration Project Finalist 2011
RIBA (RSAW) Finalist 2011

Decoding Cardiff University’s Institute of Cancer and Genetics