Spherical sporting venues used as inspiration for panoptic wholesale food market
At the base of the 2,000 m high Uludá Mountain in Turkey lies Bursa, once the first capital of the Ottoman Empire and today the centre of manufacturing in Turkey. As the city is surrounded by fertile grounds that produce some of the country’s best produce, the local municipality required an adequate modern centralized facility for the wholesale trade of fruits and vegetables, as well as a separate facility for fish and other seafood.
Whereas wholesale trade markets are frequently relegated to architecturally anonymous warehouse spaces, Tuncer Çakmakli Architects' design for Bursa’s new market maintains the idiom of the high vaulted bazaar, connecting the new buildings symbolically and functionally with long-standing Central Asian architectural and cultural traditions.
The complex patterns of vehicle, material, and pedestrian traffic are carefully coordinated within fluid, elliptical shapes, which in turn are bordered by brokers’ offices. The rational form of the 350 meter-long greengrocer’s market is designed to facilitate easy orientation, efficient exchange, and optimal routing of foodstuffs from suppliers to retailers and restaurateurs.
The overall shape of the structure strongly resembles that of a stadium as the architects felt that the panoptical form was as appropriate to the activities of a market as to a football match.
The building sits on a site of 400,000 sq m a few kilometres from the city centre and is divided into two main sections made of concrete with steel roof construction: the produce market is approximately 42,000 sq m and the fish market occupies 15,000 sq m. In addition, there is a tower of 2,400 sq m that houses administrative offices, a restaurant, and a hotel. Outbuildings include a post for the gendarme as well as weigh stations and motor vehicle access control points. A freestanding mosque is also in development.