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Barcelona’s Brilliant Energy Efficient Flower Market
Flowers markets are inspiring – the bright colors, the enchanting smells, and the hundreds of beautiful possibilities that can be created. And if you happen to come upon this new wholesale flower market in Barcelona you’ll surely agree that its architecture is every bit as beautiful as the flowers it contains. The recently completed Mercarbarna-Flor, by Barcelona-based Willy Müller Architects is a stunning structure designed specifically to store and sell wholesale flowers and accessories. Energy-efficient passive cooling and radiant heating systems keep all of the flowers at the perfect temperatures to help them last longer, while the striped multi-colored panels lining the edge of the roof allude to all of the colorful flowers found within.
The new flower market is a great example of efficient and beautiful design, and was created to become the principal market in Catalonia. The exterior of the market is a relatively traditional square warehouse design, although the roof line bends and folds to create entrances, loading areas and protected areas. Geometric patterns decorate the zinc roof and evoke fields of cultivated flowers as seen from above.
The building’s interior houses a variety of markets, and each one has specific conditioning requirements and logistics. The fresh cut flower market requires a temperature of 2-15 deg C, as the flowers have a shorter life span and must be sold within 3 days. The plant market acts as a greenhouse to grow potted plants and its climate is very carefully regulated with both radiant heating and passive cooling – one of the biggest systems of its kind. Passive cooling helps to introduce humidity and ensure that temperatures stay between 15 and 26 deg C. Meanwhile the radiant industrial floor ensures that the flowers have enough warmth to grow.
Another region of the market is reserved specifically for dried flowers, which are especially delicate and require a lot of storage space. Additionally, dried flowers are at high risk of catching on fire, so a special fire detection and extinguishing system was installed to protect them. The market also has enough parking for 500 cars, a number of loading zones, a restaurant, office space, two florist education centers and multi-purpose event rooms. It’s a spectacular project that was well designed to meet a specific need. We would love to walk around during one of the market days and be surrounded by flowers on all sides.
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