A vision almost 20 years in the making, the Van Aken Market Hall is the anchor of the Van Aken District, a redevelopment project focused on creating public spaces that brings together the residents of Shaker Heights and fulfills their social, retail and entertainment needs.

The Market Hall concept, the first of its kind in Northeast Ohio, offers visitors a curated experience of the best local restaurants and retailers along with a variety of different gathering spaces for customers to select from, depending on the purpose of their visit. “The Den” is the focal lounge area that fronts a multi-purpose stage and can be utilized for small performances, a play area for children to climb (with stepped benches that also serve as additional seating) as well as an area to project movies. Additional seating clusters throughout the Market Hall feature various lounge areas, counter height tables and stools, and long lengths of banquettes that allow groups small and large to gather for business meetings or to catch up with friends and family.

The layout of the interior promotes meandering to pique the patron’s interest to pause and discover the unique tenant mix. Four anchor tenants located along the Market’s perimeter have both exterior and market interior entrances, while the center of the space is divided into multiple 10’x10’ tenant stalls, allowing for numerous size and configuration options. The structures were designed to minimize the volume of the larger space and create more intimate opportunities when interacting with guests or patrons. Through the use of black painted steel framing and open wood slatted ceilings, the stalls are the perfect combination of French Industrial style meets Minimalistic Scandinavian design and allows the tenants to bring their concepts to life within their designated framework.

Richardson Design developed a graphic design strategy for the Market Hall that seamlessly integrates and supports the overarching design language conceived for this neighborhood destination. Cohesive signage, graphics and wayfinding were critical to enhancing the overall visitor experience of the Market Hall. Celebrating the Market’s location along Cleveland’s RTA Blue Line, the signage system takes its cues from vintage train schedules and were purposefully designed to provide a non-hierarchical system of organization for the collection of tenants within the space. All of the Market Hall’s exterior branding was hand painted onto the brick by a local Cleveland-area sign painter and ’street signs’ used throughout the space are built off a traditional street sign typeface, with a modern twist that seamlessly integrates into the French Industrial and Minimalist Scandinavian style of the building.

Richardson Design, LLC
Phone 216.696.6780

Photography: David Berlekamp Photography

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