A five year project left the city of Mainz, Germany with a truly unique piece of ceramic architecture. The Markthäuser complex sits within a historical pedestrian square in the city, within eyesight of the Mainz Cathedral. When Studio Fuksas was hired to renovate the building, they noticed that modernization had already claimed a few buildings in the square. So rather than make what they called a “new old” building, they took a risk and gave us a ceramic facade that grabs the eye and responds to the changing light during the day.
From the architects:
“To restore the façade looking the market square – as requested – it’s been used the downward sloping roof design, typical of the region; but it’s been added a new startling feature, too: the external layer.
“This white laminated ceramic skin envelops almost the whole structure, with an irregular pattern of windows and openings, but leaving the old façade on the front section free and visible, where the cafeteria is located, and also providing another striking feature at the rear, where the offices are located.
“The brightness and semi-transparency of the shiny glazed surface, together with the resulting gap between the external layer and the building below, makes this an extremely cutting-edge building.
“The changing of the lights during the day and as the weather changes makes this building like a “musical composition”, where surprise plays a fundamental role.”
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