Reconversion of the Municipal Market of Abrantes

The building of the former market of Abrantes is located on the edge of the old city, on the transition from the slope of the historic town to the line of the valley, which then follows through to the south, until it meets the Tagus river. In this context, the existing building defines a platform that expands the city floor, on a high level, placed on a building that stabilizes and overcomes the very significant variations in elevation here. The dual condition of the building - that of the urban close off and that of the limit of the valley - generated two very different fronts. If, currently, one is constituted as a kind of disqualified rear, the urban front is carefully ordered and composed, being the result of the transformation, in 1948, of the originally designed facades of 1931, bearers of a compositional and material clarity that were partially lost with the mentioned change.

In this circumstance, we intend to recapture the original facades. Their evidente qualities and what they anticipate for the interior space, prompt the completion of the perimeter at a high level, thus building a set of four fronts, homogeneous and cohesive, which constitutes a limit that is rigorously implanted on a foundation that, as before, overcomes the unevenness of the terrain. This foundation platform designs the podium that accompanies and extends the building throughout its entire length, giving it two new entrances, to the north and west, and establishing important urban connections, previously non-existent. In this way, the new multipurpose building conquers an identity that is recognizable from any point of view, point out the city's expansion to the northwest.

The clear geometry, rigor and modularity of the façades, now recaptured and re-qualified, foreshadow an almost rationalist character that is evidenced by the transparency and continuity provided by the sequence of openings to the outside, between the city and the valley. The obtained permeability enhances the extension of the public space to the interior of the building, which will be constituted, after all and whenever desired, as a covered square - an urban continuum stripped of any obstacles on the inside, where the sidewalk extends, uninterrupted.

The building is debugged in a total adjustment to the needs imposed by the place and the program, creating, inside, an austere space that emanates an operative conception of elegance. From the rigor and modularity of your internal layout comes the maximum flexibility of use.

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION - HONORABLE MENTION

architecture

Pedro Matos Gameiro and João Favila Menezes

design team

Carlota Mendes, Joana França, Raquel Pereira

landscape architecture

Filipa Menezes

structural engineer

Luís Villar

HVAC air treatment and thermal conditioning

electrical engineering and fireproof concept

acoustics

Mário Boucinha

hidraulics and acoustic

José Costa e Silva

fire safety

Marlene Roque

project year

2021

rendering LAMB3d