The long-awaited final design of the new Sydney Fish Market has been revealed. When it’s completed the facility will be located at the southern end of Blackwattle Bay, revitalising the area and giving it better access to the harbour.

The new building design, by Danish architects 3XN in partnership with Sydney firms BVN and Aspect Studios, features a timber and aluminium roof that resembles fish scales and appears to float over the building like a canopy.

3XN has said its vision for the new market is a “permeable” space that is easily accessible for pedestrians and vehicles. A space that “integrat[es] nature” into the new building that creates a link between the nearby Wentworth Park and the waterfront promenade overlooking the bay.

News of the market’s relocation was first revealed in 2016, and the Sydney Morning Herald has reported the project’s expected costs will be significantly higher than the $250 million price tag announced last year.

The initial plans included quadrupling the car park capacity, but Stephanie Williams, a spokesperson for the Sydney Fish Market, said the new design has “evolved” and will focus on improving access to public transport.

“There will be three light rail stops [Glebe, Wentworth Park and Fish Market] within a 400-metre distance,” she told Broadsheet, adding that the plans include a proposed new ferry stop to service the fish market directly.

The revitalised market – already the largest fish market in the Southern Hemisphere – will feature an expanded cooking school, food kiosks, restaurants and bars, and an improved ground-floor platform to view the early-morning wholesale seafood auctions on Wednesdays.

The design plans also include new public wharves, and an amphitheatre-style stair entrance for public events and performances.

Williams said all current merchants at the market are expected to relocate to the new building, with some newcomers.

“It’ll be a mix of old and new retailers. The market will expand on the current produce and food service operators,” she told Broadsheet.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the new purpose-built fish market would become a “vibrant community hub” that showcases the best seafood produce from the east coast of Australia.

“The Sydney Fish Market currently attracts more visitors annually than the Great Barrier Reef and accounts for around 20 per cent of international visitors to the Sydney region,” Berejiklian said in a statement.

Construction is expected to commence in mid 2019, and the new building is slated to open in 2023. The current Sydney Fish Market will continue to operate uninterrupted during the construction period.