Urban – Reuse
Client: Intendencia de Montevideo
Status: Design – Competition entry
Location: Montevideo, URY
With: Juan Granero Moneva
The project Mercado sinergeTICo proposes a strategy that on the one hand is able to rethink the urban cityscape into an innovative and economically feasible way, on the other hand wants to intercept local potentials providing a new market model capable of merging the appeal of the FTZ with the fervor and the bottom-up nature of a creative hub. We could define it as a pilot project to overcome the FTZ: a STZ or Synergic Trade Zone. The establishment of interscalar relations, knowledge-based interconnections, and business collaborations is fundamental in order to reach a real, rooted and sustainable thriving of local companies and professionals.
Mercado sinergeTICo brings together several actors, such as the national Government as regulator, the local Government as property owner and initial investor, IT Universities as promoters, IT creative coworking companies and start-ups incubators as pioneers, companies/corporations within the IT sector as investors and beneficiary of the FTZ-like status, private investors/developers within the real estate sector, and housing cooperatives.
The innovative environment of the Mercado sinergeTICo area is intended as a new hybrid urban scape merging the atmosphere of a park, the ratio of a university campus, the bustle of a creative hub, and the functionality of a business district.
After the establishment of the STZ, the Mercato Modelo will be transformed in order to allow for its re-functionalization into the first fractal seed and core of the entire operation. The first floor of its perimetral structure will be divided between coworking/start-up spaces, business incubators, office spaces for IT companies, and knowledge-related spaces managed by universities. The ground floor ring will host commercial premises with a good portion of leisure facilities such as cafes and restaurants able to serve the new activities and to attract external users, starting a process of positive gentrification. The former main hall of the market will be transformed into a green courtyard, in direct continuation of the public space, that will be activated by permanent and temporary activities.
The green and sustainable city portion around the market will gradually be dotted only by an archipelago of industrial heritage buildings transformed and re-functionalized into buildings connected to the STZ. The valorization of the existing built environment is of paramount importance to enforce the identity of the place.
As new inhabitants will be attracted in this sector, old unused houses will be renovated and empty plots developed – also through public subventions – into environmentally sustainable units to be rented out at affordable rates to young professionals.
When the heritage buildings will be saturated and the STZ will be consolidated, new STZ buildings will rise up complying with the archipelago logic. Eventually the transformation will bring the remaining industrial activities to be relocated and their premises to be integrated into the STZ of Mercado sinergéTICo.
The whole area surrounding the STZ will be influenced by its presence and will be subjected to a process of rejuvenation. Entire blocks of low density-rise units could be transformed into up-to-date energy efficient complexes with a n increased openness to the public realm.
This dynamic process sets a program that aims to create a new place of coalescence, intercepting Montevideo’s need for a sustainable, inclusive, and creative development.