Mercado de la Zarabanda
Mexico City, Mexico
International Design Competition
Colonia Condesa is a vibrant and hip neighborhood composed of younger intellectuals and artists. In this site, contemporary art meets the ancient Aztec history in its galleries, coffee shops, theaters, and the “tianguis” -street market.
The cultural history of street vending is a local tradition that traces its roots from the Aztec times; the markets in Mexico are still informal and largely unregulated economic entities. In Mexico, these spontaneous street markets define and facilitate temporal urban gathering spaces.
Centralized market locations exist in Mexico, but typical retail stores do not fare well. The flexibility and adaptability of individual vendors and their personal stalls are crucial for success. The pre-existing weekly market, called Tianguis, causing traffic congestion and parking problems, was to be absorbed Mercado de la Zarabanda.
The market is surrounded by a green buffer zone. For flexibility of public usage encompassing days without a Tianguis, a decision was reached in which the spaces under the roof facilitated vendors as opposed to permanent stalls. Zarabanda’s curvilinear “boulevards” enabled the users the status of flâneurs experiencing and gazing at the flows of each other.
Hybrid -simultaneity of two or more unlikely existence- conditions are manifested intensively in Mexican Culture.
Thereby, to address the dichotomy of an archaic market system with contemporary architecture - not just through novel form but through an urban and cultural sensitivity- is not an either-or proposal. Zarabanda market aims to pay homage to the powerful Mexican culture of binary coexistence, rich colors, and patterns.