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A friend in the city: Santa Caterina Market renovation by Miralle Tagliabue.

A view from above.

Photos: Cerámica Cumella, and Miralle Tagliabue.

I was reminded of this project on the company website of the ceramics manufacturer that worked on it. It was like bumping into an old friend in the street that you have not seen in a while.

The Santa Caterina Market renovation by Miralle Tagliabu dates from 2005. In all its glorious splendour, it is both an inspiration and, I can imagine a little intimidating, for anybody thinking of using this material!

But gather your courage, and let me introduce you to this beautiful creature if you have not already met.

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.

An aerial view showing context.

View from above.

Detail of the curves.

The front edge.

Detail of tilework.

 

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