Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Ponte de Lima Municipal Market in Portugal by Guedes Cruz Arquitectos
May 29th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Guedes Cruz Arquitectos
When Ponte de Lima Municipal Market was built in 1927 it was the cause of public discussions concerning the pros and cons of its location, although no negative remarks seem to have been made about its elegant design.
70 years later we can still see its somewhat domineering relationship, from the height of its granite base, with the city centre and the avenue of plane trees.
The original construction facing the riverfront had two well-constructed wings and three towers, whilst the later attachments were of lesser quality.
The central courtyard was later roofed over “provisionally” with a metallic structure and zinc sheeting.
The project to recover the Market involved remodelling the existing building, increasing the number of shops and building an underground park for 100 cars. This meant that the east and south wings had to be demolished. They were replaced by a new wing with two storeys of shops, which was the same length as the original wing.
With this solution the market was no longer rectangular but U-shaped, and the interior was open to the city and the river.
The structure is punctuated by great metallic frames from which are suspended the wooden beams that uphold the glass roof covering the new square, providing the module with the necessary rigidity.
The granite paving was determined by the level of the existing base, to protect against the periodic rises in the level of the River Lima.
In this project the structural materials and coverings used mark the difference between what is permanent and what is transitory.
Thus the base, now used for parking, and the three existing wings are clearly distinct from the new roof and the new wing of shops.
The former, in traditional robust masonry, maintain their commitment to the site and guard against the violence of the river’s flood waters.
The latter, made of wood and covered in copper and glass, breathe lightness and transparency, filling the square with light and shadow and bringing to life the traditional market.
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