The building’s façade looks towards a historical pedestrian square and towards the milestone of the city of Mainz, the Mainzer Dom (Mainz Cathedral), built in the X century. Like many other European city centres, this important location has been compromised by thoughtless projects dating back to the mid-20th-century and post-war reparation work. Nothing is authentic (even the historical buildings are almost all reconstructed). Nevertheless, the principle of conservation prevailed, so the city centre has become an eclectic mix, synonym for beauty.
“The most important issue for me was to create a building with a sense of history, but with no rhetoric. I did not want to design a new old building” – Architect Fuksas said.
To restore the façade looking the market square – as requested – it has been used the downward sloping roof design, typical of the region; but a new startling feature has been added: the external layer.This white laminated ceramic skin envelops almost the whole structure, with an irregular pattern of windows and openings, 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 make this building like a “musical composition”, where surprise plays a fundamental role.
The interior of the Mainz construction is extremely vertical. As you get into it, you walk through the full-height five-storey lobby, a small vertical square linking together the different functions.
Long and white columns draw your eyes upwards and create a visible bond between the different levels. This open space helps create a connection between the site and surrounding pedestrian area, composed of a set of small interconnected squares leading towards the River Rhine.
Ceramics pieces were used in the façade design in order to create a white laminated skin to envelope almost the whole structure. The pieces used in the Mainz Markthäuser building are the NBK – TERRART®- BAGUETTE, ceramic glazed stoneware extruded and fired at high temperature.
Wohnbau Mainz GmbH
Façade Structures: Knippers Helbig beratende Ingenieure
Structures: Baucon beratende Ingenieure
Engineering: IBB Lorenz Electrical Services: b.i.g. BechtoldIng
Plans: HL-PP Consult
Markt Street 11-13, Mainz , Germany