Mateo Arquitectura was awarded first prize in the public competition for the redesign of El Ninot Market in Barcelona, Spain. El Ninot market plays a key role in Barcelona’s food distribution network and is positioned accordingly, with a strategic central location. This winning proposal aims to maintain the existing facility and its intrinsic history while equipping it with contemporary services that keep its relevance in todays culture alive. More on this project after the break.
The original construction of the facility dates to 1894 by architects Antoni de Falguera and Joaquim Vilaseca. It is composed of a impressive metal truss structure that occupies a central urban site in Barcelona. Its plan is a T-shape, produces a variety of spaces and means of access from various approaches to the building. It is equipped, due to its structure, to provide appropriate ventilation and daylighting. These existing dynamic factors gave the architects a varied canvas from which to develop an intervention.
The urban and formal improvements, as developed by the architects are summarized in five actions. 1 – Conservation of the market’s existing structure. 2 – Intervention in the entrances, particularly Carrer Mallorca, creating ease of access and recovering the squares on either side. 3 – Rehabilitation of the building’s skins: façades and roofs. 4 – Use of the basement to build a self-service facility, car park, loading area and storage space, to respond to the requirements of the program. 5- Freeing up space inside the market, concentrating communication and installations shafts for greater flexibility and allowing adaptation for future uses.
The intervention will enhance the pedestrian access by reworking the main front entrance in Carrer Mallorca, where there is a difference in level of 1.5 meters between the level of the market and street level. The solution reorganizes the entrance: the steps are replaced by a doorway at street level leading to a centralized space of entrances and vertical communications. The circumstance of entering between levels enables the users to view both areas of the program: the market above and the service areas below.
The new floor plan of the market place will take advantage of its current T-shaped geometry and use the two nodes to organize the spaces efficiently, placing offices, services and installations on the south side of the passage thereby freeing up the floor plan to accomodate the required number of stalls. The two basement levels of the market house a 1600 square meter self-service facility that features a car park, loading bay and storage space for the market.
The existing roof structure is preserved and the facings are replaced to improve insulation and soundproofing. The façades and facings are retained, comprising the base wall, stained-glass windows, lattices and eaves. The surrounding street is freed from the stalls that are there presently by cutting away from the base wall of the building to allow the stalls to be housed in the niches. This solution frees the pavement and reorganizes the external space of the market. As regards protection from sunlight shining into the market, the proposed project rechannels the entrance of daylight via a new lattice that acts as a filter. The eaves are maintained and are deamed necessary in the configuration of the façade, adding a finishing touch or providing solar protection in areas where the ventilation outlets are located. Architect: Josep Lluís Mateo, Mateo Arquitectura Client: Institut Municipal de Mercats de Barcelona-IMMB Site: Calle Mallorca 135, Barcelona Competition: 2008 Construction: 2010-in progress Surface: 15.000 m2 Budget: 20.209.000,00 euros