No hay amor más sincero que el amor a la comida
Marketplace in Avila
Public Equipment, Heritage
“Casi perdida entre la niebla del crepúsculo y encerrada dentro de sus dentellados murallones, la antigua ciudad, patria de Santa Teresa, Ávila, la de las calles oscuras, estrechas y torcidas, la de los balcones con guardapolvo, las esquinas con retablos y los aleros salientes. Allí está la población, hoy como en el siglo XVI, silenciosa y estancada.”
Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, 1864
The regeneration of the Municipal Market (Plaza de Abastos) means a new impulse for Ávila. It is a welcoming, friendly and heritage city. In the heart of the historic centre, life runs smoothly between neighbours, shopkeepers, office workers and visitors.
We propose to create a street that runs through the market square. A covered but open street. Wide and sheltered from the weather. A street that forms part of the route between the Mercado Chico square and the Cathedral. We seek to complete the universal accessibility through the four facades with access in semi-basement and with a permeable passage through market stalls and an area to taste the products.
And we propose to fill the square with natural light. Large skylights that cross the building, from the roof to the basement. Two skylights create large openings in the floor slabs that in turn allow the different uses of the building to be organised and vertical communications to be placed. Large connected spaces are created in which to sell, buy, eat, drink, observe, work or rest. The skylights are practicable, providing more surface area for the natural ventilation of the market. To cover the skylights we opted for a lightweight and economical polycarbonate enclosure. We are looking for a translucent effect, suggesting actions after the enclosure. We are looking for a sifted, soft and warm light.
The municipal market is a mixed building that merges, together with the main commercial use, municipal offices of marked affluence. In order to make the two uses compatible and create synergies, the three floors contain large communication areas that are open and visually connected to each other.
The strategy to be followed has been to internally dismantle the building of the 1950s, respecting and clearing the structural grid of reinforced concrete, and on the other hand the façade. A new diagonal geometry allows us to connect the interior grid with the external rhythm of the façade openings.
The reform is designed taking into account criteria of energy efficiency, sustainability, maintenance, constructive viability. In addition to the passive strategies of light and natural ventilation, a new biomass boiler supplies DHW to the building in order to conditioning through radiant floor. The complex is completed with a heat pump for air conditioning in summer. The façade is covered with insulating lime mortar to improve the thermal inertia of the building.