Atarazanas Market


Málaga, Spain



Due to the building’s immense historical and architectural value, Atarazanas Market is to undergo a two-year rehabilitation process. During this time, a new building will have to be constructed to fulfil the functions of the old one. From the moment the project for the new building was commissioned, constant, painstaking care was taken to reconcile the provisional nature of its commercial usage with the permanence implicit in the concept “building”: in other words, the new premises will be re-usable after the market’s commercial activity has returned to its former headquarters when rehabilitation is complete.

Such diligence is not mere rhetoric or trifling; rather, it is aimed at removing the negative connotations associated with the term “provisional”, to which end special efforts have been made to ensure that the constructive elements of the temporary market can be put to other uses, so that “provisional” will become an adjective applied to the activity undertaken there, but not to the building itself. For this purpose, a series of folding phenolic panels with an aluminium structure have been used to mark out the various areas inside the building (market stalls, passageways, offices and public conveniences), while a more substantial solution has been adopted for the exterior walls (methacrylate panels in various colours affixed to a “tramex” metal framework).

The pre-fabricated structure will consist of reinforced concrete beams and pillars with a metal covering. Rather than imposing restrictions, the building’s location in the city’s historic centre should prove an incentive for the resolution of any problems that may arise with regard to the market’s surroundings, the smooth running of commercial activity and the urban landscape of its temporary site. Furthermore, it should be noted that in Mediterranean countries, markets are viewed not merely as premises on which goods and services can be exchanged; rather, they are venues for social interaction, a place where shoppers can converse and exchange culinary experiences. In other words, it is absolutely imperative that the setting in which the market is housed be a friendly location in which to spend time purchasing food.

With this in mind, a series of natural features such as plants and trees have been introduced both inside and outside the building.