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Halle - Marché couvert permanent

Bethune, France, 2005

The 'Marché Permanent' is designed as a sculptural landscape - a terrace and open amphitheatre that extends the 'Grand Place' and reinforces its architectural identity.

Likewise the 'Beffroi', as can be seen from our plans, is genuinely integrated into the new design. The tower and the Marché create an architectural form of strength and originality, complementing and contrasting each other, achieving a balance of old and new, vertical and oblique. Two primary architectural forms brought together: the tower and the urban terrace.

The 'Grand Place' and the Beffroi' are integrated not only architecturally, but functionally as well.
On the ground level the market is organized on the 720 m² surface, accommodating more stands than asked for in the program. The high roof of the market provides the Marché Hall with a generous space filled with natural light and ventilation.
On the roof level an open air theatre is created - a new public space overlooking the square, the tower and the city.

This space can be used everyday - providing people of all ages with a place to sit, play, or listen to music, a space for diverse performances and special events. One can imagine Racine being played on this stage in the original costumes, actors descending from the tower, using it also as a dressing room, while the city becomes its background.
Needless to say, contemporary music or sound & lumière will be just as successful.

The Restaurant and the Coffee Shop are placed on the Mezzanine, between the higher roof terrace and the 'Grand Place'. It can be reached from the ground floor through both the Marche and the Grand Place.

As for the materials to be used for construction of the 'Marché Permanent', they will include metal, glass, concrete and stone, combined in such a way as to create a dramatic sculptural effect.

We imagine a possibility to incorporate stone from the parking excavation, or parts of recovered old walls, into the new structure of the Marche. I think the people of Béthune will appreciate that the past is respected, taken care of, and exposed in the new construction.

Our design introduces a distinguishable new urban element within the city, one which also blends into the existing public space, in a way similar to the 'Spanish Stairs' in Rome or Antonio Gaudi's 'Park Guell' in Barcelona. We envision that the design of the Marche permanent, by its sculptural and functional qualities, would revive the people and the city of Béthune by providing a new, unique urban symbol that values their architectural heritage.

Zvi Hecker Architect, Berlin / Amsterdam

Municipality of Bethune



Project manager:
Matthijs Bouw, One Architecture, Amsterdam

Structural engineer:
Nortec Ingenieurie

Jan Marcel Bruinshoofd
Paolo Fontana
Ingmar Faber
Frederic Fourrichon
Falk Heuer
Sharon Kern
Aleksandra Kubos-Nowak
Macej Markowski
Patrick McHugh
Katja Schmidt
Tai Schomaker
Bettina Steinmann
Jana Ullrich