Copenhagen Gallery

Torvehallerne

A lively marketplace with fresh produce on the site of the old vegetable market on Israels Plads

"What are we waiting for?" asked Iselin C. Hermann and Hans Peter Hagens in an essay in the daily Politiken in 2000. The author and the architect described their idea of recreating a lively marketplace with fresh produce on the site of the old vegetable market that had been based on Israels Plads until 1958. The Copenhagen City Council decided to back the project in 2001and 14 years after the idea first stroke architect Hans Peter Hagens mind, the covered market Torvehallerne finally opened.

Moorish columns and decorative lights

The two sections of the Covered Market will take the form of "market lanes," each under a columned roof of zinc and cedar, with skylights running lengthwise. The sections will flank a plaza with outdoor stalls, linden trees, and benches. As many as 1,000 people will be able to sit under the trees and awnings in the evening. Taking inspiration from the Moorish Mezquita in Córdoba, the architects wished to provide a smooth transition between inside and out. For example, the columns inside and the lindens outside are ordered in a grid that divides the entire plaza into identical little squares for the stalls.

Torvehallerne round the clock

The idea is for the marketplace to change appearance as the day progresses.

The paving under the café zone was designed by Anders Krüger. Its sharp, geometric patterns will stand out during the day, while little star-shaped lights will shine at night. Nils Erik Gjerdevik's 18-meter-long water sculpture, made of colored glass, will be illuminated from below in the evening. In the daytime, children will be able to play in the water.The two artistic elements of the project still await financing, but the plan is to apply for foundation grants and to carry out the construction of them once this has been finalised.

Shark to be cut on Saturday at 2 pm

The vision of the project has been to create a direct encounter between small producers and their customers among the stalls of fresh food brought in from all corners of the country. "It is important that the produce for sale varies all the time and changes with the seasons", says Hans Peter Hagens. For this reason the square is laid out so that the permanent stalls are housed in the covered market, whereas the outside stalls can be rented, even for one day only. Market information is projected on to a piece of canvas making it possible, for example, to read from the bus in Frederiksborggade: "New supplies of asparagus" or "Fresh shark on Saturday. Watch it being cut at 2 pm!"

Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014

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