The Sant Antoni Market is one of Barcelona’s oldest and most popular marketplaces. Originally designed by Antoni Rovira i Trias and the engineer José M. Cornet i Mas in 1882, is one of the most iconic buildings in Barcelonás Eixample district.
It occupies an entire block and is shaped like a Greek cross, its geometry and dimension typical of Eixample alignments. The central octagon, crowned with a large dome, is typical of the crossing of the Plan Cerdà. The Sant Antoni marketplace has always been a central hub for locals to meet, chat, shop and be part of the community. By the time the market closed in 2009, the existing building needed to be restored and expanded to meet the demands that come with being one of Barcelona’s most iconic landmarks.
After nine years of extensive renovations the market has reopened and is alive with stalls selling fresh produce, clothes, books, collectables and the like to visitors once again. Ryder Alliance partners, Ravetllat Ribas are responsible for Sant Antoni Market’s new design. Nicholas Markuerkiaga shared their journey with us.
Over the years, concentrating trade into this one district has led to the emergence of different constructions around the market to house temporary street market stalls. These -seasonal and Sunday – markets are without a doubt worth preserving and promoting, given that they not only complement the services of the market in selling fresh produce, but they also manage to turn the entire complex into one of Barcelona’s most iconic landmarks.
The new layout has reduced the number of stalls and streamlined the space (passages with a width of 3 metres and stalls with a depth of 2.5 metres), allowing the surplus space in the wings to be available for other uses after enlarging the central aisle. The small new constructions that will replace the storerooms currently attached to the perimetric wall of the building will allow the creation of a passage.
The new recovered glazed ceramic tiled roof and the central dome in terracotta blend with the rest of the market’s structural and construction elements. The height of the basement was extended to increase the height of the loading and unloading area, and one of the basements is now devoted entirely to new commercial uses. The other basements are of a single height in the central (loading and unloading) area and there are two mezzanine floors for storage and parking.
The old bastion was preserved in its entirety, as was most of the counterscarp, so that the trench wall of the market could be understood and enjoyed by the future generations.
The beautifully revitalised Sant Antoni marketplace reopened in May this year returning back to its rightful place at the heart of the local community. It’s is alive with locals and travellers alike, who come together to shop, meet and share.
Pere Joan Ravetllat shares some design features of the market
Architects: Ravetllat Ribas
Words: Nicolas Markuerkiaga
Photographer: Adrià Goula