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mercado do bolhão

2013 | Project | Porto

The Porto City Council characterized Mercado do Bolhão as a municipal equipment, pointing out the main weaknesses and clearly defining a “vocation” for the 21st century market. For this purpose, a “Traditional Flavours Market, based on the excellence of natural products and capable of attracting qualified consumers and tourists” would have to be installed in this building.


The City Council also pointed out the regulatory principles of the restauration and rehabilitation project and defined the general lines of action for exterior stores, which should maintain their “independence” in relation to the market on the inside of the building. The latter, in turn, would welcome the traditional market mentioned above. They also referred to the need for the building to have a roof in the open area defined by the internal boundary, invoking the inconvenience of use caused by the great rainfall that occurs in Porto.


They proposed “a new array of spaces, inspired by the models developed in the most recent European quality markets, which allow for an area where products can be exhibited in adequate quantity and visibility”, without, however, distorting the traditional component of the market. However, the City Council admitted the introduction of new resources that would promote the image and competitiveness of the market, attracting new customers and the general public.


Finally, and in relation to the exterior façades of the market, they proposed replacing the uniformity lost over the years due to the disqualified works carried out - especially when introducing new windows - which suggested “replacement in its original form” and allow for elimination of spurious elements placed on them (advertising signs, air conditioners, etc.).


All of these issues were included in this rehabilitation project for Mercado do Bolhão. To improve access to the market, a direct underground link to the Bolhão Metro Station in Porto was also planned. The central area of the market was intended to be covered to improve conditions of comfort and sales. In fact, the conditions of the benches on the terrace and in the gallery forced traders to set up makeshift awnings that completely misrepresent the space.




Direcção Regional de Cultura do Norte (DRCN) | Câmara Municipal do Porto

Arq. João Carlos dos Santos | DRCN

LT Studios

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