Terrassa, Barcelona province
The Independence Market in Terrassa is a protected building, well-loved for its place in the artistic heritage of the city of Terrassa. More than just to design and build an elevator in the Market, the commission was to redesign the main entrance to the Market from the Rambla d´ Egara, and to facilitate access from the street level entrance to the upper level, where the market stands are located. To be honest, this entrance was in a very bad state of preservation, and was not at all attractive. The majority of the people entered from the Raval, which is at the same level as the stands, and the entrance from the Rambla simply didn´t work.
Our clients were the Market vendors, and the worst handicap was that they had not accepted a large, ambitious proposal by City Hall to completely renovate the Market. Finally, after many discussions, including with the people in charge of City Heritage, Mayor Manel Royes agreed to grant us his approval, and we were able to carry out the work.
The elevator was placed behind an arch that was badly damaged and covered over by a wall, and on the upper floor the elevator would open in the middle of a space that served as the connecting point between the distinct wings that make up the Market. The element to be located in this space would have to satisfy everybody or it would be widely criticized. Another problem was that the elevator, or rather the hole needed, would be located in the heart of the Catalan vault that was there, and it wasn´t possible to borrow any space to protect it from the work being carried out. That is, we had to perforate the vault without any protective enclosure; we couldn´t err in the slightest, as there were still people using the space. We thought of a complex system to perforate the vault which would also form a part of the finished structure of the design, in this case the structure surrounding the elevator cabin. We designed an elevator cabin with all-glass walls, which on the ground floor complemented the existing arch, took advantage of all that already existed, and even allowed us to return the arch to use. The result was well received by everyone and we were awarded second prize in Catalonia for accessibility in registered municipal buildings, an award given to both the Terrassa City Hall and the architect, though the cash prize was for City Hall.
We were later invited to speak about this project in an international convention on heritage projects organized by the Architectural College of Barcelona.
Architect: Amadeu Oliva i Uriel
Technical Architect: Maria Rosa Remolà i Ferrer
Photography: Miquel Llonch
Història i records del Mercat de la Independència de Terrassa
INDE informació i debat , febrer 2002