The monument had to be restored due to its poor condition combined with the shortage of parking in the surrounding area and the need to combine the market space with other uses that were more in line with new requirements that had appeared over time. New grocery stores and shopping malls opened nearby, causing the original market to virtually come to a standstill.
As a result, it was decided to renovate the market. During the first phase, aside from restoring the building, a three-level underground parking was built along with a shopping mall in the lower ground floor. The second phase consisted of establishing this space as a commercial area.
RENOVATION AND EXPANSION
The first phase of the project involved complex excavation and support techniques in order to maintain the original structure. It consisted of three well-differentiated efforts in terms of their complexity, focus, and importance. The first step was to support, consolidate, and refit the existing foundation in order to excavate four levels below the existing ground level. The second step focused on restoring the historical bay, which showed signs of settling and significant rust at the joints of the original iron structure. The third step consisted of refurbishing the masonry facades and all the elements that had fallen or been modified in order to restore the building’s original appearance.
The market’s structural phase involved the complexity of shoring the masonry facades because the foundation had settled (causing many of the issues affecting the bricks) and of refitting the masonry to a new foundation in order to build the underground parking levels. A foundation was designed that would join the existing foundation with the new elements so the beams and piles would support the weight of the building at the new foundation level, thereby making it possible to excavate the land under the facades.
Since fairly deep excavations (14.75 meters) were required near to the surrounding roads and buildings, it was decided to build slurry walls that would serve as basement walls and also make it possible to dig below the underground water level, thereby limiting the negative effects of water on the building and eliminating the underground water during construction.
Once the walls were built, the downward-upward method was carried out. The first step was to drive concrete-steel piles through rotation from the ground level. The 1.2-meter diameter excavation reached a 14-meter depth, and the space between the pile and the perforation diameter was filled with gravel to create the pillars of the market’s new structure that would help support the floor of the ground level, which would be executed first. This was followed by digging to a depth of 7 meters and completing the intermediate floor level, which would also serve to prop the perimeter walls. The excavation continued to a depth of 15 meters and ended with the bottom floor. The process was completed by executing the two remaining structures in an upward direction. This process left a hole in the middle of the ground floor that linked with the level below. It also offered a view of the market and created an interconnected space that could be modified for new uses and allowed light to enter.
A second initiative consisted of consolidating the original bay, which had settled and also showed signs of rust at the joints of the iron structures due to the fact that drainage elements from the roof had been placed inside each of the 36 columns that held up the bays.
Obstructed gutters and drains had progressively rotted the interior of the iron structure, and in certain areas only a few millimeters of severely rusted metal remained, so it was necessary to disassemble and repair, joint by joint, the entire structure in order to completely restore it.
Once the building had been structurally consolidated, the last part of the refurbishment process consisted of repairing the masonry facades that had worn down over time. This required cleaning systems that would not damage the decorative, ceramic, and mortar elements, and would restore the market’s exquisite colors and ornamentation. Hot water high-pressure cleaners were used for the tiling and micro-pulling for the cement, cracks were repaired with fiberglass rods, and the decorative elements that
were missing were replaced with reintegration mortar. The documentation that was obtained throughout the project (consisting primarily of old photographs, some of which were provided by market vendors) made it possible to identify missing ornaments, such as the strings of garlic or the dome tips on the Jorge Juan facade, which were replaced to restore this emblematic building of Modernism in Valencia to its original condition.