Half Dose #20: Mercat de Santa Caterina

What started as a renovation of an existing market turned into an urban redevelopment in and around the Avenida Cambo in Barcelona. But this dry description belies the executed work, designed by the late Eric Miralles's office EMBT.

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The most distinctive feature of the design is the colored tile roof that undulates its way across the market below, visible to our feathered friends and those lucky enough to live in the adjacent buildings. Cantilevered portions create shade, and relief from inclement weather, as well as an interesting interaction with the existing market.

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The sinuous structural system makes itself known in all aspects of the design, as it punctures through the roof, reaches the ground outside the old market walls, or overtly supports the wood roof above.

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The complex project is actually three levels, with two below grade that include loading/unloading, parking, and an organic waste depository for the surrounding area. In many ways, its contribution to the city takes place at the two poles of above and below, not just the facades and inside, as might be expected in this type of project.

:: Mercat de Santa Caterina
:: 0lll.com
:: archiseek
:: Fotos de arquitectura
:: Floornature


  1. That looks beautiful. I love Barcelona's architecture. Thanks for the glimpse.

  2. Enric Miralles died in 2000.
    Surely you should refer to EMBT as Benedetta Tagliabue's office now, seeing as she was the other partner and now leads the studio?

  3. norman,
    Granted it's her office now, but I believe this project had the involvement of Enric Miralles before his death. That was more my (apparently unclear) point in wording it that way.

  4. Even dead, Enric Miralles gives name to the office.

    I live in Málaga, southern Spain, and this weekend I will be in Barcelona, so I can see the works finished and the market open!

    Anyone wants some oranges -for instance-, just let me know ;)

  5. I live 1 minute away from this market. It's cleaner and cheaper than the famous Boqueria, and there is enough room in front of it to serve as a Plaza where sometimes bands play.

    On the other side of this market is a glassed in (so as to be seen from the outside) tiny history museum of the market. There, they have protected the ruins of the original ancient market, and included a pictorial history. It is fascinating.


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