For more than a century, the Queen Victoria Market has been Melbourne’s go-to trading hub for fresh food, produce, home wares and souvenirs.
In 2012, the market’s southernmost aisle was given a makeover and renamed String Bean Alley, in honour of the farmers who once assembled there to sell string beans.
The revamped shopping precinct is now distinguished by a row of 10 brightly painted recycled shipping containers, repurposed as vendor stalls and workshops.
The makeshift container kiosks are leased to an eclectic mix of artisans, cafes and merchants.
The latest cast of tenants at String Bean Alley includes Mexican folk art vendor Viva La Calavera, toy store Spotty Dot and ceramics purveyor Made in Japan.
Due to its National Trust classification, Queen Vic Market is not allowed to build permanent structures on the site.
So the mobile converted shipping containers proved to be an ingenious restoration solution for this otherwise overlooked Market corridor.
An ATM is cleverly housed in a bright-blue reclaimed shipping container near the entrance to String Bean Alley.
And you can’t miss the entry to this quirky Melbourne laneway – it’s marked with a colourful mural and a huge tree-like sculpture made from reclaimed shipping pallets.