Studio Class at Umeå University
Studio Class at Umeå University

A New Heart – Central Market of Elche

This project was developed by Marina Bonet Bueno as a student from Universidad de Alicante and was submited to the WAS awards 2017 under the Facilities category.


Elche needs a new market with a design adapted to the current needs,
offering to its citizens more than just a new building.
Therefore, the project pursues the following objectives:



The Market is located in a privileged location, in one of the main squares of the city and in front of the Town Hall. That is why the new building must relate directly to the public space, even aiming to
reactivate it. An alignment is planned that respects the fronts of existing façades, ensuring a clean visual from all the streets that access it.
On the other hand, there is the possibility of traversing the Market longitudinally, both through its interior and through the roof. This second route starts directly from the street level, allowing the terraces and roof to be spaces of uninterrupted use.
The area surrounding the existing archaeological remains is released, allowing to create a square that invites to their contemplation.



To ensure a constant relationship between building-interior-exterior, the search for partial transparency is proposed as a strategy. That is why a glass façade is designed, surrounded by an exterior skin that protects it. This skin is perforated, thus allowing both a filtered natural light input and the visual relationship between users of the interior and the urban space.
Special attention has been given to the visual relationships, highlighting the possibility of observing the Archaeological Remains through the latticework when walking along the exterior staircase.


We look for our building to take full advantage of the possibilities of natural light, therefore designing a glass façade that follows a constant modulation. To filter and regulate this solar incidence, there is a lattice system that surrounds it as an outer skin.
For the design of the original pieces, one of the emblems of Elche is taken as reference: the palm trees.
From the drawing created by the palms when interlaced, different abstractions are presented, translated into sketches to be developed.
Looking for a design as efficient as possible, the designed pieces are prefabricated, constituting two series of 3 pieces each. This ensures a reduction in costs and the impact of its production. We present thus pieces whose widths are multiples of themselves, facilitating the design and the fitting on the façade: Pieces of 0.75m / 1m / 1.5m wide.
The combination of these 6 pieces gives rise to a facade with a varied rhythm.