The Grand Central Market in Bata / MESURA

  • Architect:MESURA
  • Location:Bata, Equatorial Guinea
  • Date:2014
  • Client:Mettas
  • Awards:Architizer A+Awards 2017 - Finalist

The Grand Central Market in Bata

The Grand Central Market in Bata – Description from MESURA.

The Grand Central market in Bata is an ambitious project that aims to change the current market, to make this the new landmark of the city.

It is not simply an architectural project, if not a media and social impact in the city.

The first part of the project has been to analyze in depth the current state, both the site and its characteristics architectural and topographic, such as the market itself and its use. The market is clearly bounded by two roads (one of them is the main street of the city), a front of buildings, and a valley composed of houses and vegetation. The slope that generates this valley impacts directly with the market, that suffers its consequences. Sanitation is the main problem today: the garbage is not well managed, and the conditions are rather unhealthy.

Courtesy of MESURA.

The buildings that surround it, are buildings to conserve, but they make difficult the market access.

The project makes its defects virtues, treating them in a sustainable way. There is an introverted market, bounded by the surrounding buildings, and a new mass of projected vegetation. Although introverted, and with the ambition of wanting to generate a minimal impact on the current street, a very permeable market is proposed: the accesses have to be clear and generous (there will be smaller secondary accesses).

In order to improve the conditions of sale, in order to improve the market economy, it is proposed to make the street in front of you pedestrian. This poses two great virtues: to remake all the pavement and to make new networks of sanitation; And create a reference shopping stroll in the city.

Courtesy of MESURA.

A study of the autochthonous architecture is carried out, valuing the materials that are used and the sustainable strategies to share the tropical climate of the country. The sun, and heavy rains are the main aspects to take into account.

For this, a large curved ventilated cover is proposed, with patios of different sizes and uses.

These are the different projected systems: Sun / heat: Curved vented roof with lattices and patios; Patios; Vegetation that generates shade and improves the ecosystem. Rain: Sloped roof; Collection of water in the patios, to be used later. Ventilation: Double deck .; Forged bent. Vegetation; New vegetal limit (works at visual level and improves the ecosystem); Trees and plants in the central inner courtyard.

Courtesy of MESURA.

The great inspiration of the project at the atmosphere level is to continue with the current image and space sensation, respecting the way of presenting the product, the “streets” with stops on both sides, and the environment charged with movement, product and shade . It captures the essence of Bata’s traditional market, merged with new needs. It is a matter of “cleaning” the current state, both the streets surrounding it, and the shops located on the ground floor of buildings tangent to the market. At the formal level, the following decisions are taken: take advantage of the unevenness of the lot, and generate a new floor, to be able to have an open parking, and more market area on the top floor; Design small market stalls, with its own cover, closure system and sales space; Large curved roof (for improved climate) and inclined to collect rainwater; A series of courtyards and squares that “crush” the deck to give light and large spaces of that mixed and multipurpose; Paving the front street for a new commercial space of success.

Courtesy of MESURA.

Color is introduced as a mirror of culture and symbol of the dynamism that the market presents and its use. Said color, is on the deck showing a large gradient of colors inspired by Equatorial Guinea. It is made of color, an element of great identity of its own.

As a conclusion: The new landmark of the city is designed, It gives the citizen a commercial meeting point, creative, fun and a great design that mixes tradition with modernity.

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