Merkato, an old hangar converted into a market

Merkato takes advantage of the industrial space of an old aircraft hangar located in the center of Valencia to create a new concept of the tasting market. Designed by the studio of Francesc Rifé and by Valentín Sánchez Arrieta, a new market is created based on the honesty of the materials and products.


The driving idea is to maintain the industrial nature without falling into topics and thematizations, with simplicity being the principle that intervenes in each point of the project. The access is carried out without intervening in the main facade, respecting it as it is. A large door of pine wood stained in black is the starting point of Merkato.


At the distribution level, a narrow and long access leads you to the interior of the hangar, passing previously through an exhibition space of products with different grocery stalls that are combined with high and low tables for tasting.


The central area of ​​Bakery is located under the patio of the farm, a space that filters light through a latticework, maintaining the proportion of space. In it, the production of bread and pastry is carried out, and is occupied by a large pine table and a succession of banks. Next, an area of ​​seats, low tables and large lamps is placed, creating a warmer place.


Merkato breathes the industrial air in every corner, building a space that seems to be covered with soot from the coal in the kitchens


As we continue through Merkato, we come across the large space of the hangar, which reveals the entire industrial infrastructure of the gabled roof with metal structure. This space has the function of a large tasting room, a large area where the guest can enjoy each dish. The kitchens are located perimetral and pour their products into this central area through large gaps.


The separation between the wide tasting area and the Bakery as well as the Kuarto Oskuro, a private tasting space, is carried out by two large rectangular volumes of glass and deployé metal mesh. One of them serves as a winery, for the storage of the pairing. The other, on the other hand, houses the staircase that allows access to the upper floor, as well as a unisex area for toilets.


The whole project is conceived within simplicity. It is remarkable the use made of each material. The continuity of color tones within the palette of blacks and dark grays allow us to appreciate the subtlety of the textures of wood, metal or ceramics.


Furniture and lighting play a perfect complement to a space like Merkato’s. In addition, the vegetation is integrated into the design as an element of natural division that provides privacy and that fresh point to the space.



Photograph by David Zarzoso.