The term ‘warehouse architecture’ is almost an oxymoron. Warehouses are, by definition, cheap places of mass-storage, which means that the only notion of ‘design’ is how to get things to come in and out as efficiently as possible. Cities everywhere from Atlanta to Athens are littered with big white boxes lining their motorways, often emblazoned with huge logos. Owners are concerned only with cost, and, as they are usually inaccessible to the public, rarely give form a second thought.
A10 magazine this month features Barcelona’s new flower markets, Mercabarna-flor, designed by WMA, is an exception. Its energy-efficient, sustainable design pays homage to the flower, with brightly-coloured verticals surrounding the building – a refreshing change from the usual white corrugated iron offerings. The folding, organic roof adds a sculptural element. And the building is practical too, with temperature-controlled flower storage adding days to a flower’s usual shelf life.
Lovely photography by Ricardo Loureiro.