The Rehabilitation of the Market of Supplies has been the metamorphosis of the center of the city of Tomelloso, a transformation that has restored vigor and synergy to what was the original focal point of the city. The main objective of the change has been to bridge the gap between the past and the future, between culture and society. The goal was to evolve the space, improving its physical and functional comfort, and achieving a better quality of life for the users and visitors.
The building, dating back to 1932, follows the typical typology of that time for commercial buildings. It consists mainly of two symmetrical and set-back naves, forming a higher roof along its axis of symmetry. Both the structural typology, based on pillars and metal trusses, and the main facades give the building its uniqueness since its construction.
There is no information about the building's original function, but we do know about its last use as the Municipal Market of the city in 1982, which was the state it was in when the project began in 2020.
The building was completely closed off from the outside, with no openings for ventilation or natural light. It had two floors, with the main floor dedicated to the sale of fresh products, and a semi-basement floor where fishmongers and refrigerated chambers were located. The sloping roof over the main floor was supported by metal trusses hidden behind a continuous false ceiling, which housed the air conditioning equipment.
Over the years, the invasion of vehicles and the prevalence of roads for traffic led to the adjacent space of the Market becoming primarily a parking area, significantly reducing pedestrian spaces and gardens in the Plaza.
The goal upon receiving this commission was to recover its essence as a meeting point for residents and tourists and become the catalyst for the transformation of the entire area, creating a clear connection and integration between the Market Square and the building, which was previously lacking.
The project originated from a thorough analysis of the existing building, its geometry, potential functionality, construction characteristics, its relationship with the surroundings, and possibilities for energy efficiency.
The challenge was to introduce a new use to a building originally designed solely for commerce. Now, it needed to serve socioeconomic and cultural purposes, becoming a more versatile space adapted to the 21st century, capable of hosting various cultural activities while also serving as a gastronomic and commercial space.
After analyzing all these factors, one of the main ideas of the project was to establish an interior-exterior relationship by adapting the Market Square to better connect with the main floor of the building, overcoming the obstacle posed by the difference in elevation.
This issue was resolved by arranging a series of platforms and ramps that gradually spanned the entire Plaza. The material used for these elements was Almagro stone, carefully laid out in different sizes. The different levels created brought users closer to the building while also creating various integrated spaces for relaxation and rest, along with landscaped areas.
The main access to the Market Square is through Veracruz Street. From this street, the Market building stands as a perspective backdrop, presided over by the surviving elm tree of the original Plaza. The Market, in the background, breaks the corner with a large glass window, inviting users to see what happens inside.
Inside, a new functional layout was determined, with stalls placed along the perimeter of the building. The central area, framed by the higher roof and open to the exterior through glass enclosures, became the epicenter of the space. The roof allows light to pass through, making this zone the physical, functional, and aesthetic heart of the building. The floor distinguishes this area with a change in pavement, using a colorful mosaic of hydraulic tiles.
There are 27 stalls arranged along the interior perimeter of the building, consisting of flexible modules that can be multiplied according to the user's needs. These stalls serve various purposes, including gastronomy, commerce, culture, and community activities. The design of these modules has an industrial character with simple metal structures that blend with the original building, incorporating natural pine wood to add warmth, which is also used in the interior furnishings.
These modules stand separate from the existing walls of the building, creating service and access spaces while maximizing the counter area. The height of the stalls never reaches the original roof of the market, creating spatial and visual continuity throughout the building. From any point inside the market, visitors can observe the entire roof supported by the original metal trusses.
The facades have been restored, leaving part of the original brick exposed and insulated from the interior to optimize energy savings. The base and main facades have been covered with a continuous and breathable lime material, traditionally used in the construction of this Manchegan region, which also protects the facade from humidity.
Due to wear caused by weather conditions and street vandalism, the Alfaraz tilework designed by Miguel Durán-Loriga has been restored in a symbolic location inside the building, at the end of the perspective from the main entrance, surrounded by a natural vertical garden.
The Rehabilitation Project of the Market of Supplies in Tomelloso brings together architecture, restoration, urban planning, and a play with memories, all put into action. It is a project of senses and memories, a project to be experienced, explored, and felt.