The markets of El Born and Sant Antoni are two of the finest and earliest examples of cast-iron architecture in the city of Barcelona.
El Born, in fact, is the first large cast-iron building in Barcelona. Built in the late 19th century, their mission was to provide local residents with a more orderly and sanitary venue to buy their groceries, thereby making an improvement from the then-prevalent street markets.
Where other cities have simply demolished their cast-iron markets, the Barcelona City Council saw an opportunity to put these markets back at the heart of Barcelona’s rich cultural heritage. The goals were thus well-defined: to restore the buildings with the utmost fidelity to their original design, to integrate in them the archaeological remains, and to ensure their continued activity.
Given that Sant Antoni was still serving as a market, the City Council chose to update the facilities. This project started to take shape in the early 2000s. The works at El Born, started in 2008, and concluded in 2013.
The new El Born Cultural Centre would open in September 2013. As for Sant Antoni, a new provisional building had to be built to host the market while the works were ongoing. It is expected that the inauguration of the restored Sant Antoni market will take place in April 2018. The project has been funded entirely by the Barcelona City Council, with a total budget of 153,695,067 EUR.