The buildings that make up the Municipal Market and the space defined by them, commonly referred to as "the square", a name inherited from market square are, as a unit, characteristic elements of the urban landscape of the city of Guimarães.
The grounds of the old municipal market boasted a privileged and very central location with excellent accesses, very close to the Toural Square and the historic center.
With this project, the transformation of the marketplace into a multifunctional space dedicated to artistic, economic, cultural and social activities within the scope of European Capital of Culture 2012, allowed for the physical and functional reintegration into the urban fabric, to become a reality and so, to recover one key
area of the city space. In addition, the operation extended to adjacent plots, enabling the regeneration of the interior space of the block, which was completely uncharacterized, as a result of its occupation by a marble processing industry.
The program provided a clear concept and defined the objectives intended to achieve with this infrastructure, listing a series of skills and spaces that constitute the functional program for both the new and the existing buildings, as well as the adjacent plots of land. For this purpose three major program areas were defined:
-Art Center, which houses a permanent collection, in this case the Collection of José
Guimarães, temporary exhibition area, a multipurpose space for additional
activities, performances and shows, in addition to a series of complementary
-Creative Labs (business support offices) for the reception and installation of
activities related to creative industries, allowing the development of business
-Workshops to Support Emerging Creativity, consisting of workspaces and creative
vocation for young creators in various areas, hoping to develop projects on a
Finally, the intent to recover the existing building on the eastern side, trying to promote the installation of additional commercial activities that could enhance the creation of a space with a broad scope in regards to multidisciplinary cultural activities.
The whole structure, according to the program would complement the existing equipment in the city, as well as those which are under development within the European Capital of Culture.
When interpreting the program, we aimed to allow for the possibility of each one of its components to function independently and simultaneously, creating accesses to each of the various services and support areas, as well as to the outdoor square
We opted for a methodology of intervention that involves the rehabilitation of the existing building to the east, keeping the materials and textures, but redoing the entire inside at level 0. For the building at north, and for reasons previously mentioned, the façade towards the Avenue, which characterizes the building, is
renovated, but its interior and façade facing the square were object of and almost complete demolition and redesign. Although it is intended to maintain the scale and the existing formal relations, we propose a new solution for the building that promotes a strong relationship with the square and emphasizes the relationship of
this structure with the outer space.