Part magic carpet ride, part Indonesian village hall, Barcelona's Santa Catarina market bears all the inventiveness of its architect's founder - the late Enric Miralles.
Designing the Scottish parliament building is generally taken as the final act in the career of the late Spanish architect Enric Miralles. That said, his Barcelona practice, EMBT Arquitectes, does not seem ready to fade away. The firm, now run by Miralles' widow, Benedetta Tagliabue, has rebuilt a rundown historic market building within sight of Barcelona's gothic cathedral in a style that is even more exuberant than Holyrood. And, unlike London's historic market buildings, the £15m Santa Caterina redevelopment retains its original use as a large retail food market.
Only the front section of the building and its classical arcade have been restored. The rest of the market is basically a huge new roof that floats high over the stalls like an undulating magic carpet.
The roof is supported on three primary clear-span trusses that cut through, up and over the roof surface. But, from below, it reads as an organic assembly of timber arches, purlins and sarking.
At the opposite end from the retained arcade, an irregular latticework of timber slats brings to mind an Indonesian village hall - a typically offbeat Miralles invention and a reminder that he worked on this design before his death in 2000.
However, it is the top surface of the roof that is the building's pièce de résistance, comprising an extended, vividly multicoloured mosaic of Spanish tiles. Rather than loosely overlapping terracotta roof tiles, these are 325,000 glazed ceramic tiles that are hexagonal, set in mortar, and provide most exhilarating view of the refurbished market building. It is a view that will be particularly appreciated by the residents of the neighbouring the apartment blocks, which have been newly built or refurbished as part of the project.