Location: Romania
Date: 2009 - 2011
Client: BELROM Real Estate
Status: Concept Design
Size: 19,500 m²
Credits: ACME Team (Friedrich Ludewig, Deena Fakhro, Naiara Vegara, Stefano Dal Piva)
Botosani Market is a medium scale retail project in the city centre of Botosani on the site of a currently derelict socialist factory. The existing industrial production halls have great structural spans and an interesting roof structure consisting of curved concrete planks, which create an even pattern of north-lights, flooding all parts with natural light. The project for Botosani Market retains the existing structures wherever possible and brings them back into use as a regional shopping centre that will benefit from the flexibility, openness and lightness of the structure. While it was easy to accommodate the programme of hypermarket, retail units, cafes and a small casino within the confines of the existing building, it was important to re-think the existing facades of the building, previously designed for enclosure and containment, with no openings to the public realm. All traditional Romanian buildings create distinct spaces of transition between outside and inside, and these porches and verandas are often the richest and most important spaces in churches and private houses. In order to turn the previously private factory into a public market, the elevations of the factory were extended, and new, contemporary porches created under a larger overarching roof. Defined by a forest of columns, the new sheltered space outside the building signifies its new public function and forms a spatial transition between the open exterior and the low beams of the internal concrete structure. New walls built within the halls are clad in the traditional local material of rough timber shingles.