The Vertical Souk | Albasini & Berkhout Arquitectura y Diseño

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The Vertical Souk


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Competition entry.

The plot seemed too small for a market of convenient dimensions using just the ground floor. The reduced dimensions would not be enough to attract success in a city the size of Casablanca.

Therefore, we plan to develop the souk vertically, increasing the available selling area and at the same time creating a landmark. It will rise above the surrounding buildings, be visible from afar and attracting visitors.

The building is divided into six floors above ground. Each floor will hold one of the five selling areas described in the programme, while the sixth one will be the restaurant floor. The ground floor is left open for access facilities, while the building roof is dedicated to energy supplies.

Multipurpose selling stalls are attached around each of these large sets of structure and facilities. Each stall has a hinged textile canopy that is deployed when the store opens, allowing the displaying of counters and the taking out of the goods to be sold.

The roof consists of two parallel planes, both inclined 45° towards the south: the upper plane is glazed and supports a system of solar panels, both thermal and photovoltaic; the lower panel will be opaque and heavily insulated, painted in black on the upper side and with a thermal insulation slab on its lower face. Heat is generated in the space between both planes by the greenhouse effect, so that this heat, combined with the Venturi effect produced by the airflow when passing through the slats of the upper section of the roof, creates a depression that will draw the air from inside the pillars and so renew the atmosphere of the whole building.

The result is a building that is understandable as a whole, sustainable through its ventilation conditions and energy self-sufficiency and attractive for the city.

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