The new Encants market is a public facility for auctions and the sale of second-hand and surplus goods. The building, which replaces an old run-down and insufficient structure, now stands on a new site alongside Plaza de les Glòries, where it acts as a mediating device between the revived square, its built-up environs and Avenida Meridiana, one of Barcelona’s main entrance roads. The goal of the project is to analyze the types and amounts of waste produced at the market and offer a solution to upcycle it. 

The site produces a large number of packaging waste, a lot of which is plastic. Today plastics are widely recyclable, which offers a variety of possibilities for new uses of these materials. Certain types of plastics can be easily converted into furniture, building materials and many other types of objects. The aim of this project is to show how the plastic waste produced at the market can be turned into a new pavement for the market and at the end of its lifecycle, the tiles can be upcycled again and made into something new.


Location : Encants, Barcelona

Utility : public market building

Architect : B720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos

Client : BIMSA – Mercats de Barcelona

Completion : 2013-2014

Area : 35.440 sq.m (15.000 sq.m – commercial use)

Shops : approx. 275 establishments

Restaurants: 9 establishments

Footfall : 150.000/week (pre-pandemic)


Staff: cleaning and waste collection operators working day and night shifts

Resources: 1 container truck, 26 t Ampliroll hooklift truck, 1 x 25 m3 open-top container truck with lift platform, 1 vehicle with pressure washing unit, 1 electric sweeper, 1 electric scrubbing machine

Segregation: organic and inorganic waste separated


The types of waste, chosen to be upcycled is plastic packaging, more specifically LDPE and PET plastics, due to their abundance and recyclability.




Upcycled Pavement for Mercat dels Encants is a project of IAAC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed in the Master in Advanced Architecture 2020/21 by Students: Tsvetelina Bogdanova, Aniket Sonawane, Laukik Lad and Seminar Faculty: Ignasi Cubiñá, Ariane Lima, Sofía Battistino & María Colantoni