TStudio - Guendalina Salimei - Turning the San Benedetto Market into a new public space for the city of Cagliari, Sardinia
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Turning the San Benedetto Market into a new public space for the city of Cagliari, Sardinia

TStudio - Guendalina Salimei

Renovation  /  Future
TStudio - Guendalina Salimei

The project aims to transform the market of San Benedetto into a multipurpose place that can be a new aggregative pole for the city of Cagliari. At the threshold between the 19th-century city and the medieval city, the market registers the leap in altitude that geographically marks the boundary between the two parts. Thus the concept envisages the organisation of the external space through a modelling of the terrain that allows the architecture to emerge, accentuating its role as a monument and offering a public space conformed on several levels. Preserving the image of the envelope, the architecture empties internally, delineating a covered square from which the steel tree-like structure departs, supporting a new roof that draws the building's fifth elevation and makes the roof habitable.

Situated on the slopes of the historic city, the market of San Benedetto is, due to its location and size, a prominent element in the landscape, visible from the high city centre as well as from neighbouring buildings. The inclusion of the new roof makes the market comparable to the grand scale, configuring it as a sign that connotes the urban landscape of Cagliari. The current parking function and the morphology of the external space reduces the perceptive distance between the market and the user, dampening the building's quality of urban centrality. The ground plan, with the design of new public spaces, establishes a new proportional relationship between the parts that enhances the architecture in its dimension as it also registers the functional transition from a space for cars to a place for being.

If the building envelope is conservative, an emptying is carried out internally, which constitutes an internal square and improves the ventilation and lighting conditions of the thick building. This results in a decrease in the building's cooling and lighting systems. The demolition is designed to reuse and recycle 70 per cent of the non-hazardous waste generated by the site. The use of photovoltaic systems, water flow control, and compatible materials from recovery processes aim to have a building with the best possible energy performance. Attention to accessibility makes the market accessible to all users to pursue social sustainability as well.

The aim of the project is to accentuate the building's role of urban centrality by converting it into a multi-purpose contemporary market. This is done by acting on its relationship with the outdoor spaces and accentuating the architectural potential deriving from formal and location peculiarities that project the building into an urban and landscape dimension. The interventions that characterise the project are therefore the reconfiguration of the external space and the insertion of the roof: different actions, both aimed at improving the relationship of the building with the environment in which it is inserted, making it a great sign in the landscape and a public space at the centre of city life. The design of the roof brings with it internal emptyings including a central one which takes the form of a covered square forming a threshold between the external public space and the places of commerce which characterise the market. The use of vegetation incorporates local essences both in the outdoor space and in the inner square, accentuating the hybridisation of nature and artifice, public and private, open and closed, indoor and outdoor, places to be and spaces for commerce. The retail spaces redesigned for retail and other activities such as catering allow for a multi-purpose use of the building throughout the day, increasing the use values of one of the most important 1950s projects the city has to offer.

The modernisation of the market will provide a new public space for the entire city that is socially, energetically and economically sustainable. Away with cars to put individuals at the centre. The all-day opening of the building will also allow the recovery of unsold goods thanks to the integration with catering functions. The redevelopment of the San Benedetto market therefore means acting on a piece of Cagliari's history with an eye to its future.


 Comune di Cagliari – Servizio opere Strategiche, Mobilità, Infrastrutture Viarie e Reti
 City market and new public spaces for Cagliari
 12238 mq
  21,773,705.00 €
 Tstudio - Guendalina Salimei (capogruppo) con Criteria s.r.l., Ai Studio, Studio di Architettura Ortu, Pillola e Associati, Studio Strati, arch. Giancarlo Dell’Aquila
 Tstudio - Guendalina Salimei con arch. Anna Riciputo e arch. Annalisa Pilati. Collaboratori: ing. Michele Astone e ing. Giovanni Collovà
 Liraat and Tstudio – Guendalina Salimei


T-studio is a working and research group that draws inspiration from constant confrontation on shared themes. Founded by Guendalina Salimei, it is now enriched by a multidisciplinary and research team; the group finds a specific field of investigation and activity in the complex relationships established between design methodologies and modes of intervention in the built and natural environment, often in conditions of urban decay and social discomfort, combining innovation and tradition with a sensitive awareness of the local habitus. Their research and projects, which have won awards in Italy and abroad, been exhibited on numerous occasions, and have been presented in national and international scientific journals and publications, are characterised by a holistic approach that brings together the study of form, knowledge of materials, and reinterpretation of urban and natural contexts in integrated systems that are attentive to aesthetic, social, historical and ecological urgencies.


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