From the Barcelona Cathedral, an undulating, brightly coloured roof catches our eye. Attracted like insects to a colourful flower, we approach to discover a food market below the roof: the Santa Caterina Market. The original design of the building, as well as the treasure trove of produce displayed on its stalls, won’t disappoint visitors to the neighbourhood of Santa Caterina.
The refurbishment of Barcelona’s first covered food market by the architectural practice of Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue was completed in 2005. The old Santa Caterina food market revealed a gleaming, undulating and brightly coloured roof designed to be seen from the air. The roof is attached to the building by a wooden structure, and a vast mosaic of coloured ceramic pieces, representing fruit and vegetables, boldly breaks with the traditional look of a market. The market has always been characterised by a desire to innovate. Santa Caterina Market was built in 1845 to provide the neighbourhood’s blue-collar community with foodstuffs.
The spacious, modern market building was constructed on the former site of the Convent of Santa Caterina, from which it takes its name. During the post-Civil War period, Santa Caterina became the main food supplier to the towns on the outskirts of Barcelona. People from Sant Adrià, Santa Coloma and Mataró came on the tram to buy food in this market in times of shortage. Today, the market is still worth a visit: the modern exterior ushers us into a traditional market with food stalls and restaurants which serve outstanding-quality produce.
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