Set in the heart of the German town of Mainz, the exotic Markthauser is a mixed-use project clad in a futuristic facade of painted ceramic slats
. The new building replaces a mock-historic rundown apartment complex, but rather than taking the same track the project provides contrast, adding lightness to the city center and highlighting the traditional buildings around it without becoming overbearing. Translated as the Markethouse, Studio Fuksas’
contemporary design makes brilliant use of the space with a deep day-lit atrium that combines indoor, outdoor, public, and private areas.
At first the building looks jarringly out-of-place when set against the old city’s vernacular — but on closer examination the design strives to forge a harmonious link with the past. Unlike some of its bland late-century concrete neighbors, the building is bright and airy, and it features an inviting street front that funnels visitors into the light-filled atrium. The project’s simple, abstract horizontal strips and classically sloped roof create contrast with the older buildings while transitioning from old to new and from concrete to cut stone.