Mercado Barceló

Nieto Sobejano 


The Barceló Market area in Madrid includes public spaces, buildings and temporary installations belonging to one same complex. Its multiple denomination – market/sports center/library – soon speaks of collective engagement and reveals the social condition of the program: a compact market topped by a sports pavilion framing the city, in front of which a cantilevered library rises above a schoolyard.

The project comprises different interventions: a market (1), a sports center (2), a library (3), and Santa Bárbara square (4); it also includes a recyclable temporary market (5) of translucid polycarbonate. 

In this way the design assumes the coexistence of three simultaneous conceptions (container, frame, bridge) that address structural variations (space frame, cantilever, beam) and generate different civic spaces around them: a covered street, an elongated plaza, and a raised terrace. In this combinatorial matrix – a balance of functional needs, structural systems, and urban spaces – resides the dense and hybrid condition that characterizes the project. On the boundary between the historic center of Madrid and its later expansion, surrounded by historical buildings and contemporary structures, narrow streets, plazas and extensions, the market – whose interiors have not been built following the architects’ original project – expresses itself as an autonomous volume, located at the confluence of Mejía Lequerica and Beneficencia streets.

Separated by a narrow interior gallery-street of marked vertical proportion, the sports pavilion juts out over the market, the roof of which is actually a large raised public terrace from which one sees the Madrid roofscape. The library, located on the opposite side of the longitudinal plaza, hovers over the schoolyard, to which it is attached to create a complex that is formally related to the other buildings. The geometric definition and material expression of its enclosures show that – despite their varied uses – the new buildings belong to a shared time and place. A skin formed by large pieces of cast glass – white and opaline – unifies its exterior appearance, thus lending lightness and unity to the complex.

The new market is devised as a tall, covered glass-enclosed gallery, where the stalls are organized in parallel bands, with slender escalators that connect the access, the stores, the terrace and  the new square. 

The treatment of the Santa Bárbara and Barceló squares, as well as that of the adjacent streets, will prompt citizens to perceive the affinity between the interventions that have taken place in the area, creating an unexpected puzzle in which each different element ends up earning sense only when all of them have been placed in their specific location.


Cliente Client

Ayuntamiento de Madrid

Arquitectos Architects

Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos, S.L.P.

Fuensanta Nieto, Enrique Sobejano

Project Architects: Alfredo Baladrón, Alexandra Sobral

Colaboradores Collaborators

Patricia Grande, Pedro Guedes, Vanesa Manrique, Miriam Aline Lange, Juan Carlos Redondo, Heitor García Lantarón, Borja Ruiz-Apilánez, Marta Torrecillas, Rocío Domínguez, Ernesto García Piza, Francisco Monforte, Alejandro Klimowitz, Iago Blanco, Rocío Alonso

Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos S.L.P.

Fuensanta Nieto, Enrique Sobejano, Miguel Mesas Izquierdo, Technical Architect (dirección de obra site supervision)

Consultores Consultants

N.B.35 (estructura proyecto project structure); Generaia (estructura construcción construction work structure)

Contratista Contractor

U.T.E. Acciona / Dragados

Superficie construida Floor area

43.048 m²

Presupuesto Budget

43.000.000 euros

Fotos Photos

Roland Halbe