ARX Portugal build new home for Abrantes Municipal Market
The Municipal Market of Abrantes got a stunning new home by ARX Portugal. The architects had to face several restrictions and limitations when designing the layout. First of all, the designated lot was extremely narrow, tucked between a row old workshops. The neighbourhood is a transitory area between the historical and newer parts of the town, with a mix of charmingly ruinous old buildings and contemporary urbanistic constructs. Thus, the new market had take into consideration the architectural and cultural heritage of the surroundings.
To make things even more complex, the site itself connects two streets that are different in height: the building had to be constructed in a way that it could be approach from both directions, while inside it had to provide a smooth transition between the two levels.
Lastly, the concept of market also had to be re-thought by the architects: they had to bring an otherwise street “genre” under a roof.
To overcome the challenges, the ARX team stripped down everything to the essentials. Built from white-washed exposed concrete, the building is minimal inside and out, providing a neutral background to the colourful commerce of the market and harmonious companion to the neighbouring old houses. To reconstruct traditional market ambiance, the building was conceived basically as a street. Pathways and staircases lead customers through the longish floors, while openings on the roof provide natural light.
Read more about the project on ARX's website.
Photos: Fernando Guerra
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