The project to remodel and modernise Sant Antoni Market was awarded by public tender to the Ravetllat-Ribas architecture firm on 19 December 2007.
It was an IMMB initiative with the support of traders, who approved the plans at a conference in which 95% of stall owners voted in favour. On 10 October 2009, traders moved their stalls to a temporary market, from where they will continue trading as normal.
What the Ravetllat-Ribas design sets out to achieve is to showcase the unique features of the existing building, while reorganising its layout, adding new, 21st-century services for traders and customers and making it much more accessible.
- the wholesale restoration of the building will respect its monumental, historical nature, restoring its existing features (both structural and its casing) and reusing the original materials (for example, glazed ceramic tiles for the roof).
- the eight existing entrances will be kept, but made more visible from the street, while the outer wall will be pulled down, turning the 4 inner courtyards into public squares.
- 3 new levels will be excavated, which will enable additional sales and services areas to be incorporated into the new, modernised facility. The first floor will have a central foyer, which will serve to filter customers into the various shopping areas. On the second and third floors there will be a public car park with over 300 spaces and warehouses for traders.
- underneath the current site of Sant Antoni Market, some archaeological remains of Barcelona's medieval city walls have been found. The modernisation of the market will allow these remains of the 17th-century Sant Antoni Bastion to be excavated, identified and catalogued, where appropriate. In the event that the findings prove significant, an Archaeological Interpretation Centre could be opened to allow them to be seen by visitors, as with Santa Caterina Market.
Furthermore, the project includes a series of commercial measures that will completely modernise the market's interior, introducing new stalls, while keeping the fresh food market in the same location it occupied before works began.
One of the most important changes affects Encants Market, which will no longer be held in outdoor stalls but will instead be moved into the current building and positioned along the perimeters of the market in the form of a shopping passageway. In this way, the whole of the market's range of products and services will be merged into one market, thus eliminating the logistics of assembling and disassembling the stalls and the movement of goods.
Meanwhile, the Sunday Book Market will be kept in the same area.