The format of the agricultural market, with all of its chaotic spontaneity so familiar to many city folk, is becoming a thing of the past. The place to purchase seasonal and farmers’ produce must become an interesting architectural object and a centre of attraction for residents in surrounding neighbourhoods. The results of the investigation into the potential of a new typology formed the basis for the project for the market hall beside Bagrationovskaya metro station.
the project had to be sufficiently economic while including a wide range of functional zones, including: an area for trading in produce and industrial goods, a food court, and car parking facilities.
We brought together all the functions that could operate alongside the main function – trading in produce – into the simple and laconic space of the market building, transforming the complex into a multifunctional public centre. The planning solution and zoning of the supplementary blocks was streamlined, directing the movement of visitors.
The contemporary wave of city-wide interest in public spaces saw the emergence of a demand for new markets that would be capable of combining several functions and become a new favourite place for townsfolk, not only to buy high-quality fresh produce, but also to chat with their friends and neighbours, and shop for various useful domestic supplies and pretty odds and ends. Such markets are being built in many European cities and often involve the leading architectural firms in their design process. The end result for the town is a genuinely impressive new urban feature.
Wowhaus bureau, getting to work on the design for the market beside Bagrationovskaya metro station, researched an array of analogous institutions along with the urban-planning situation of the site and the needs of local residents. A contemporary concept was formulated for the market on the basis of the materials gathered, adapted to the new conditions and surrounding urban context.
A considerable portion of the site was occupied by a rectangular in plan market hall. The remaining space was assigned to the necessary parking facilities for customers. The structural solution was rather traditional: a metal carcass with large spanning beam construction. This solution is the most economic and effective. Apart from this, it permits a maximum amount of internal space to be freed up without the obstruction of load-bearing structures. The complex profile of the roof provides for natural lighting of the trading area and forms the building’s expressive external appearance, lending it a similarity with historical retail and warehouse buildings and the architecture of Hanseatic League cities.
HPL textured wood panels were employed for the facade finishing material, giving the building a more traditional, ecological appearance. The blank parts of the facade alternate with large stained glass windows, a solution dictated both by functionality and the desire to evoke rhythm and create a distinct image. The colour highlights of the advertising fixtures and banners, corresponding to the object’s unified design code, complement the laconic facade.
The market has a clear division into functional zones. The ground floor – the provisions market – consists of a double-tier windowed space for the sale of vegetables and fruit, occupying around a third of the building, and for general trading from stalls and islands with display stands. The retail spaces, arranged along the facade on the first floor, have a separate street entrance and thus form a public-retail front along the pedestrian zone with small cafés, boutiques and consumer service enterprises.
Galleries are located on the second floor for retailers selling industrial goods, administrative offices and the food court, whose tables are set up along the gallery, opening up onto the multi-storey space of the market.
The structure of the market and the positioning of its functional blocks are organised in such a way as to direct pedestrian flows from the Metro towards the most popular trading zones, as well as to reveal the public potential of the market as a place of attraction and comfortable place for local residents to spend their time.