Restyling the market of Alcañiz in Spain to create a civic centre for children

César Rueda Boné and Miquel Mariné maintain the social utility

by Malcolm Clark
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The recovery and renewal work on the old ‘Mercato de Abastos’ in the historical town of Alcañiz, in the province of Aragona, has given new life to the building, transforming it into a Civic centre for children. Architects miquel mariné and césar rueda boné have throught of an innovative and minimalist restyling of the former market which looks out over Plaza de España, the main square around which the main buildings of the town are concentrated.

“The purpose of the project”- explain the designers – “has always been that of keeping the large market hall as a playroom and the main area for the centre for infants”.

The Civic Centre, indeed contains a series of play and fun areas for children aged between 0 and 11 years old and is desifgned to allow them to spend their freetime in complete safety. The open space on the ground floor has been designed as a flexible area to be used as a space for laboratories, parties, birthdays and gamesi; the second floor has been divided into several classrooms and includes the 'pequeteca', that is the nursery school for children aged between 3 and 8.

Exploiting the size of the interior environments of the existing building, a new structure of glulam, plasterboard and metal has been created inside the large naves guaranteeing the possibility of obtaining further divisions to diversify the many activities.

All the furnishing and finishing elements have been designed for the children to use the spaces, including the protection of the original stone floor with a shiny green, anti-toxic and washable rubber cladding designed by Ettore Sottsass.

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References
Centro infantil del mercado 38

Centro infantil del mercado

Alcañiz / Spain / 2011