The 2000 m² plot sits on the port, in an intricate urban fabric of a beach and restaurants from one side, and a Mosque, a garden, and a public park from the other side. Fish trade was taking place in an informal market on the site.
The project brief called for a new fish market, designed as a landmark on the waterfront and serving as a community hub. A project as a prototype with a distinguished identity, that could be replicated in the future in other cities.
Drawing its inspiration on its enriching context and surroundings, the project performs a marriage of the traditional, regional city with the maritime life of the fish market. In that context, the “city” typology generates the internal spatial configuration, shaping a retail area with a strong connection to the traditional markets. The latter is enveloped with two layers of stone arcades, reminiscent to traditional Arabic and Islamic architecture, and interwoven with the contemporary glass façade. Enveloping the internal volumes, the shell generates an external gallery, freeing the internal space to accommodate flexible modular units that adapt according to the needs. In a similar direction, the envelope provides perforations, showering the interior with light, instilling a sense of reflectivity and serenity.
The design is optimized to respond to the technical requirements of the project. The spatial configuration allows for different paths and different means of transportation (landing of ships, loading of trucks, pedestrians, vehicular), responding to the main road on one side, and the port on the other. In-depth spatial strategies accommodate for travel of goods, timing and flow, prevention of cross-contamination and smell propagation. Hence, the ground floor rotates around the auction area as a datum, connecting to the retail open space, the private preparation and storage areas, and the waste area, in a “forward-flow” circulation. Inside the retail area, two pockets reserved for employees, profit from a private internal circulation, and accommodate for the needs of the surrounding kiosks. Topping the first volume is a recessed arcade, accommodating the offices and restaurant, overlooking the sea through courtyard and terraces.
architecture: nabil gholam architects
3D images: nabil gholam architects