Once there were, besides places of worship, places to meet people, exchange information, refresh supplies, bargain, buy and sell, and places to live the important part of a weekly routine. This position is now mostly taken by malls, but many languages keep the memory alive as words for public squares and markets share the common root.
Present day Borough Market in London is not the first of its name. An old, historic market once existed besides the old London Bridge. This one, built in XIX century, soon became one of the most important food markets in London. Safely nested under the steel railway viaducts, in the heart of Southwark district, it’s not easy to distinguish from its background. For the market is not a single building, it’s a whole little town with its streets covered by romanticized steel canopies characteristic for the time, a maze to get lost in, an example of organic urban structure.
The architecture of the market is assorted, variegated. Old entrance portals, both built in Art-Deco style are utterly different, one solid, built with brick and stone, accompanied by brick houses, other light, built in steel and glass. The new glass corner of the green market copies the opposing buildings, both in shape, and literally, showing them their warped reflections and a respectful approach to architectural interpolation.
Live, salubrious London pocket reminds us of the small pleasures that we have forgotten: mingling in the crowds, peeking over the shoulder to see what’s selling, absorbing the smells of fresh fish, greenery, tea and spices, bargaining, rummaging and discovering.
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