Wood in architecture
Barcelona || Spain
The Glòries shopping centre in Barcelona opened ‘El Mercat’, a new food court, where the American red oak ceiling gives the space a unified look. The Glòries shopping centre opened ‘El Mercat’ in the vibrant Spanish city of Barcelona on 18 September 2014.
‘El Mercat’ has a surface area of 3,200 m2, and with an investment of 8 million Euros, it is the culmination of the first stage of the comprehensive remodelling works in the Glòries shopping centre.
L35 Arquitectos has been in charge of the project and work management in this unique building working alongside Saguez & Partners and Coll i Fulcarà Arquitectes on the design.
The architect in charge of the project, Carmen Tribó, says “We chose American red oak for the ceiling because it gives warmth to a space that is full of marble, glass and ceramic details, and it also absorbs the noise”.
A very wide, suspended ceiling was designed, to enable the passage of air for global heating, air conditioning and ventilation in El Mercat - a wooden slat ceiling was the perfect answer to this requirement. Sturdy slats were chosen, measuring 30 x 120 mm, with a 90 mm gap that leaves room for the lines of lights, which are placed alternately between the slats. “Red oak was chosen for the slats because its colour is neutral but has personality”, Carmen Tribó continues.
The slats have been finished with a matt varnish and have had fireproof treatment both for safety reasons and aesthetic.
L35 believe that the materials used have to be responsibly sourced, which is why “the American red oak has a FSC certificate because it comes from a controlled source”, Tribó comments.
20 local food shops and restaurants are situated in El Mercat, offering fresh produce and traditional food from gourmet shops to specialised takeaway food shops. With space for 750 people, there is a large variety of restaurants and places to taste different cuisines.
‘El Mercat de Glòries’, which expects 2 million visitors a year, also has ‘La Cuina’, which is an area where gastronomic workshops are organised, as well as tasting sessions, master classes and live music.
Benoît Dohin, Operating Manager in Spain for Unibail-Rodamco, which is the company that owns Glòries shopping centre, says that “Our business strategy is to offer visitors a pleasant atmosphere where they can enjoy a wide range of food services, focusing especially on top quality fresh produce, to eat in or take out”.
El Mercat, inspired by traditional Barcelona markets, has modernist details, and, as well as wood, uses coloured glass and hydraulic mosaic floors on which the stands are built in the central area.
According to Carmen Tribó, “The final result is extremely satisfactory, and the red oak adds quality and warmth”. This new area aims to become an important meeting point in Barcelona for people who want to enjoy good food in a special atmosphere.
American red oak (Quercus spp.)
American red oak is an attractive oak with distinct reddish-pink tones. The wood is similar in general appearance to white oak, but with a slightly less pronounced figure due to the smaller rays and a more porous end grain structure. The wood is mostly straight grained with a coarse texture.
American red oak is the most abundant species in America’s hardwood forests and is used for flooring and a wide variety of furniture and building applications. The wood is hard and heavy, with medium bending strength and stiffness and high crushing strength. It is very good for steam bending.
Gross Floor Area: 3200 m2
Cost of Construction: 8,000,000 Euros
Architects: L35 Arquitectos with Saguez & Partners and Coll i Fulcarà Arquitectes
Lighting Design: BMLD
Flooring: Mosa, Mainzu, Aparicci, Kerion, Escofet 1886
Bathroom Furniture: Krion
False Ceiling: Hunter Douglas
Bathroom Flooring: Marazzi
Bathroom Fixtures: Duravit
Photography: 2-8 © Cristobal Arjona, 1/9-12 © Gloriès Shopping Center