Barceló Temporary Market
by Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos


Architectural photographer Roland Halbe has sent us his photos of a temporary market in Madrid designed by Spanish office Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos.

Top and above images are by Roland Halbe

Called Barceló Temporary Market, the structures remain in place while a series of new buildings for the area are under construction, including a shopping centre, sports centre and library.

Above photograph is by Roland Halbe

The temporary market is made up of six connected buildings with pentagonal footprints, each clad in translucent polycarbonate panels.

Above photograph is by Roland Halbe

These structures will be reused elsewhere in the city once the permanent buildings are in place.

The text below is from the architects:


The new Barceló market and its surroundings area project is in fact the result of various other projects: An urban combination of different scale and programme elements that have come together to significantly transform a dense central area of Madrid. The idea originates from the definition of new areas that connect and link the different structures and foreseen functions of the market, shopping centre, sports centre, public library, car parks, temporary market and outdoor areas. The built-up complex is made up of three independent structures joined to a new public square.

Click for larger image

The Market – nucleus and heart of the whole operation- is conveyed as being an autonomous structure, which is located at the confluence point where its different façades open out onto the calle Mejía Lequerica and calle Beneficiencia. Its main attraction is an indoor shopping arcade with contrasting vertical symmetry inspired by large urban shopping centres from the past, that concentrate the complex’s vertical and horizontal traffic. The sports pavilion rises up over the market. Its roof is actually a large elevated square from which the roof tops of Madrid can be made out. The new public library overlooks the school playground built right beside to become part of an urban complex. Its materials and structure are the same as those of the market and sports centre.

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The geometric and physical appearance of the different buildings and their façades confirm that - despite their different functions - the new buildings belong to the same time period and place. A façade made up of large pieces of moulded glass, -white and opaline- unifies the new public buildings style -market, sports centre, library- to illuminate and unify the whole complex. The style of the public areas in the plazas de Alonso Martínez and Barceló, as well as that of the neighbouring streets, their mutual paving and street furniture, transmit the feeling of the past radical subtle change that has taken place in the neighbourhood.

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Like an escalated version of civic life, where places to live, study, teach, go shopping, have fun, do sport, read, go for a walk or relax have a common setting, the new buildings and outdoor areas come together in an surprise puzzle in which every single different piece only makes sense when they are all put other in their exact precise place.

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Temporary Market

The building of the temporary market that will be used when the construction work of the new buildings is in progress, is intended to be an urban facility which can be recycled and that conveys the inspired ability of a temporary operation to change with its environment. As it has to house the numerous outlets that have to be maintained, the building is divided up into six pentagonal shaped floor areas, that are set at different heights and have different lay outs, thus preventing it being out of proportion with regard to the surrounding buildings.

A linear double height structure along la calle Beneficiencia will be used for the handling areas, warehouses, cold storage rooms and installations. One of this building’s fundamental features is its exterior facade made of glazed polycarbonate that covers the polygonal cylinders to let natural light filter through during the day and which become huge lanterns lighting up the square in the evening. Once the construction work has been completed, these cylinders will be taken down and could be used somewhere else in the city, so that the new Barceló square, whose paving, landscaping and street furniture blends in with the surroundings, will round off the change made to this historical areas of Madrid.

Location: Madrid. Spain
Client: Madrid city council
Architects: Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos, S.L.P.
Fuensanta Nieto – Enrique Sobejano

Project Architects: Alfredo Baladrón, Alexandra Sobral
Project Coordinator: Patricia Grande
Collaborators: Pedro Guedes, Miriam Aline Lange, Juan Carlos Redondo, Heitor García Lantarón, Borja Ruiz-Apilánez, Marta Torrecillas, Rocío Domínguez, Ernesto García Piza
Structure: NB 35 S.L.
Mechanical Engineer: 3i Ingeniería Industrial, S.L.
Façade Engineering: Ove Arup & Partners
Models: Juan de Dios Hernández – Jesús Rey, Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos, S.L.P.
Photographs: Aurofoto S.L. Diego Hernandez
Project: 2008
Construction: 2009-2011
Construction Company: U.T.E. Acciona / Dragados

Posted on Wednesday March 17th 2010 at 12:59 am by Catherine Warmann. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • nice interior : )

    but stuffs they used are a little too sterile…
    It should has more tree in that area

  • poster

    i don’t like it. I really apreciate N+S architecture but this project just does not fit in the context, the scale is wrong. Plus, the plan scheme is confusing, with this kind of fractal-type plan with diferent patios, i just think it does not work right as a market, where it should be easy to get an overall view and not be “trapped” in the little clusters…
    I don’t know, maybe I am just wrong….

  • pacman

    doesnt looks so “temporary”
    and its a very nice project i think.. hope they dont take it away!…

  • Well done amigos

  • Gk

    Great! What a pity it has to be removed one day…

  • bebo

    when i go to the market am going to walk or to fly? alot is going at the top and nothing inside or outside… it feels so depresing.

  • I like the idea of round corners here, it makes the space within more friendly.

  • Karlis

    would make a lot more sense to see this in use than the empty spaces. hard to say anything from these pictures

  • rico

    I live here and go to the market every day. It may be look trendy from outside but inside it’s really small and unconfortable, especially when you compare it to the previous market that they have taken down to build, they say, a new better one. Let’s hope so, because neither the costumer, nor the workers are happy with it.

  • i do like the shapes from above. and i do think it works with the content bc it has a statment – that was then and this is now. as it is a temporary market i assume the budget was quite limited and i do agree that the space are abit cold. but when you think of it, every empty market look like a place that its soul been sucked out of it.
    the only thing that dissapoint me is that they made 6 different buildings but in plan it is all connected – so what is the point realy? i think it would have been better idea to keep the buildings but to have a bigger gaps between them and create interesting spaces in between than just yoaning spaces of circulation….

  • Mark

    Can I have it when it’s finished with? – it could be a travelling Market – a ‘circus’ of food – that travels to lots of different European cities in the year

  • I’m loving this pebble like placement and the translucency. From far the buildings look totally solid, close up they become wonderfully ethereal. I would set a sci-fi movie here pronto.

  • Miss Chief

    I agree that the bird’s eye view is always a little masturbatory. 99% of us will never see it from that perspective! Stalls are tiny and I do feel sorry for all the vendors cramming in there, but for a temporary space it’s quite graceful. It certainly doesn’t look as sterile now that it’s packed to the gills with produce! My biggest concern is how those materials are going to hold up in Madrileño august heat :-/

  • vktr

    I hope it is really temporary. It would be a pity for Madrid to lose the park on top of which it stands.

  • jing

    elegant and practical

  • Al-Ishaq

    Makes more sense as a bird than a human.


    really floating space, nice one, also the light :)

  • Q

    nice indeed

  • Max

    I’d rather like it with a lil more wooden optic!
    But formally awesome! No doubt…