Royan's central market, a truly historic and innovative monument

The building had surprised in 1955, when it was built.

Indeed, the central market of Royan is a real reference in terms of architectural creation.

It is also a fabulous historical monument. Its shape strikes at first glance and is open to interpretation. Is it an upside down shell or rather a parachute?


An astonishing building

Royan's central market is in any case a monument in its own right, right in the heart of the city.

At the time of its construction, it was the first free-form concrete structure in the world.

Far from the traditional shapes, such as rectangles, squares and even rotundas, this fascinating shell bears witness to the inventiveness of its creators.

But Royan's central market is also a technical feat, with 13 anchoring points and no pillars.

The result can be discovered inside the hall, which offers the visitor a fabulous open perspective.

The market is rightly classified as a historical monument.

Originally, this market hall had various benches for the stalls of the traders.

To commemorate the early days of the market, it is customary to leave one historical bench empty.

Two architects, André Morisseau and Louis Simon, designed this remarkable building.

Engineer Bernard Laffaille was in charge of the technical calculations.

This is how Royan's central market was born, consisting of a single veil of thin pleated concrete.

The thickness of the structure is barely 10 centimetres.


An innovative building

In the 1950s, few companies were capable of making this type of material and construction could only be done through experimentation.

Royan's central market is popular with locals and tourists alike and is one of the region's main attractions.

Some go so far as to consider it as a real commercial lung for the seaside resort.

It has been designed for optimal interior circulation, its architecture facilitating meetings.

Because of the affluence, one is almost certain to come across someone you know!

Others come here to admire the perfection of the architecture, for example the famous glass paving stone keystone.

Thanks to this vault, the Royan hall benefits from a unique lighting system with subtle nuances.

The Royan Central Market is an innovative architectural work and meeting place, an excellent example of functional and aesthetic architecture.

It is therefore not surprising that its forms have gained a following, inspired by the audacity of a construction for which the creators did not hesitate to push back the technical limits of their time.

The principles adopted by the architects for the construction of Royan's central market can be found elsewhere in Europe. In France, first of all, in Sainte-Mère-l'Eglise, where a mini-market imitates the forms of the Royan one.


More impressive, the Budapest State Circus also boasts an aerial concrete architecture and a superb dome overlooking the runway on which the artists perform.


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To go further....

Cuisinez le marché de Royan : 36 recettes terre & océan par les chefs de "Saveurs d'ici, cuisine de chefs"

Sur les étals du marché de Royan et alentour, les produits de saison se succèdent pour notre plus grand plaisir : 12 mois pour déguster tour à tour encornet, jonchée, agneau de l'estuaire, asperge, maigre, melon, coquilles Saint-Jacques, huîtres... De si bons produits méritent des recettes à la hauteur : 36, accompagnées chacune d'un accord mets et vin, nous sont ici offertes par les 12 chefs du collectif "Saveurs d'ici, cuisine de chefs" qui nous proposent une cuisine familiale, à la portée de tous. Ambiances de marché et plats cuisinés sont photographiés avec un égal bonheur par Claude Prigent.

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