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Barcelona & The Market: looking the city as Enric Miralles

See Barcelona through the eyes of Enric Miralles discovering the refurbishing of Santa Caterina Market.

Today we want to talk about one of our favorite walking tours, Barcelona & The Market , with it, we explore the ideas and mindset of Enric Miralles, a genius in our lifetime. With Benedetta Tagliabue, he designed one of the most brilliant works of architecture in this city: the refurbishing of Santa Caterina Market.

In1997 a competition was opened to restore the Santa Caterina city market located in the old quarter of Barcelona. EMBT, Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue won the bid with a proposal that aimed at incorporating the extreme complexity of the setting itself by creating a commercial market complemented by a residential zone and public spaces that integrated all the activities of the neighborhood.


The architectural design of Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue with the dramatic cover colorful mosaic designed by artist Toni Comella. The market within the housing development is part of the package of rehabilitation being undertaken by the Institute for Market in Barcelona, under the Town Hall.

This was the first covered market in the city, opened the year 1848. His story begins with the demolition of the convent of Santa Caterina, whose land was granted to the City Council to lift the market. The architect Miralles died before finishing the construction of the work.


The proposal for the rehabilitation of the old Santa Caterina Market, located in the Ciutat Vella district of Barcelona, involves action on the urban tissue adjacent to the existing structure to streamline its location. At the same time, the intervention aims to “mixed and confused with the original structure. Both aims are achieved through the implementation of a new roof, which involves the structure and extends beyond the perimeter of the building first.


The architects describe the city quarter of Santa Caterina in Barcelona as a city within a city. They offer the market renovation as a critique of a futile attempt by the city authorities to control complexity in the area’s development. Miralle Tagliabu respond by acknowledging this complexity, then cultivating it until it grows to maturity. Eventually, the architecture imposes its own rationale on the city achieving what planning strictures can never create: a city that lives, breathes, and loves its architecture.


The essence of this project is based on the design of its cover, which part of the metaphor of an ocean colored by memories of fruit and vegetables. Recover it and also elements used in the School of Music in Hamburg.

The work is spectacular and plays an important role in planning the recovery of Ciutat Vella (municipal project in which he was actively involved Miralles).


With our Barcelona & The Market  we begin the journey in Roman Barcelona, then travel to the Carolingian era, the post-Franco era, Olympic Barcelona and, finally, the era that created el forat de la vergonya (the hole of shame). The walk ends in the market, where we will do some fieldwork to check Miralles’ methods, along with some of the processes that formed part of his modus operandi.

And here you have our Spring tours program:

BARCELONA & GAUDI a great start to discover the genius of Gaudí. Every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday as Regular Walking tour. And Monday and Wednesday as a Private Tour.

BARCELONA & THE URBANISM travel with us to the origins of the modern Barcelona. Every Wednesday.

BARCELONA & THE FUTURE CITY walk through the smart-city looking for our Future and discover with us the new Superblock at Poblenou. Every Thursday.

BARCELONA & THE SEA  discover Barcelona through its architecture. Every Saturday.

BARCELONA & THE MARKET see Barcelona through the eyes of Enric Miralles. Every Monday.


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