Construction of Mercado Groningen begins

Construction began at the end of December on Mercado, a public market hall complex with luxury apartments above. Located on Rode Weeshuisstraat in Groningen’s city centre behind the Grote Markt, the complex is designed by De Zwarte Hond and Loer Architecten. Alderman Roeland van der Schaaf was present to mark the driving of the first pile. According to Van der Schaaf, Mercado plays a significant role in activating the north side of the Grote Markt: “You see that many areas of Groningen are being revitalised - and now it’s the north side’s turn. In this sense, Mercado is a gift to the city centre in every way.” All of Mercado’s 41 apartments were sold in early 2020 and the building permit was approved.

The ambition of project developers MWPO and Beauvast is to breathe new life into this forgotten back street and transform it into a lively and valued part of the inner city. The luxury apartments add 41 unique residences to the city. Architect Jurjen van der Meer (De Zwarte Hond): “This is a unique project for Groningen. The vertical garden in the facade combined with the green roof terraces and colourful planting creates a wonderful living environment and upgrade of the entire street.” Alderman Van der Schaaf is positive about the potential of the area: “It was previously somewhere to avoid but now it’s a magnet that draws people to the city.”

With developments such as the Groninger Museum in the south and the Forum Groningen to the east, the city centre has gained a huge boost in recent years. Architect Frank Loer (Loer Architecten): “The Rode Weeshuisstraat becomes a gateway to the northern part of the city centre. Mercado’s market with the new Stalplein becomes a new social hub in the city that elevates the rest of the neighbourhood.”

Ceramic facade
The architects are now finalising the development of the ceramic facade. The customised facade elements are made of beige ceramic finished with a green/blue glaze. The pastel tints of the former orphanage across the street inspired the design of the facade.

Gas-free and earthquake-proof
New techniques were applied to the construction of the building. The geothermal heat pump is currently being installed - this provides the basis for a gas-free building. Following the construction of the foundation will be the earthquake-proof frame of the building. Now that the first pile has been driven, Mercado’s planned completion in 2022 gets one step closer.