Monday, March 26, 2007

Mercat de Santa Caterina, Barcelona

The Mercat de Santa Caterina, is located in the heart of Barcelona, in the Catalonya region of Spain. Designed by Enric Miralles Benedetta Tagliabue Architects, this project began contruction in 1998; however, this proved to be quite difficult. Upon construction the site turned out to be a site of some of Barcelona’s ealiest remains of their Gothic era, dating back to 1241. The market is three-stories, 12,000 square meters, and the project included renovation of three of its historical facades. There is also a service/loading/unloading area for service vehicles below the market. Adjacent to the market are two housing complexes for elderly residents. Interesting though, is that the occupation for the residents of these complexes was won through a lottery drawing of thousands of people eagerly awaited to enjoy this elaborate organic colored roof from there panoramic window views. I find the project very interesting because Enric Miralles Benedetta Tagliabue did a great job of preserving the old market and added something new. There is a very clear distinction between the historical Spanish market walls and this new contemporary structure cradling these walls. Its also nice how the colored tiles, resembling Spain’s famous tiled surfaces, is used in a new contemporary way while keeping this regional condition. I regret not having interior shots of the roof; however, the market (known from experience) is not open on Sundays and closes at 7pm or 19:00 the rest of the week.
Mark Gettys

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