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Competition: Montmartre Markets installations, Paris

An open international ideas competition has been launched for a pair of £85,000 market upgrades in Paris (Deadline: 2 September)

The contest, organised by local design studio RE:, seeks proposals for new street trading facilities at Abbesses and Chateau Rouge within the French capital’s Montmartre district.

According to the brief: ‘Abbesses and Chateau Rouge are demonstrative of the great socio-economic divide currently installed in Paris.




‘Only a few hundred metres apart, the difference between plush “bobo” Abbesses and relatively deprived Chateau Rouge could not be more distinct. They both share a common urban element, the market.

‘This competition proposes the design of a small intervention in either or both sites to further support these social infrastructures. And asks, through a collective architectural response, could these two sites be brought closer together?’

The historic Montmartre district – meaning Martyr’s Hill – is today famous for its nightclubs and the view from the Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur over the city.

Montmartre contest sites

Montmartre contest sites

Abbesses (above) and Chateau Rouge (below)

During the late 19th century and early 20th century it was home to many artists, including Salvador Dalí, Claude Monet, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh.

Both markets are located within Paris’ 18th arrondissement but Abbesses is considered more up-market because it is only open on Sundays and mostly trades antiques, art and craft objects.

The daily Château Rouge market – located on the eastern slopes of Montmartre – meanwhile features mostly food and clothing.

Proposals may focus on one or both sites, and should provide space for up to 50 retailers with structures that provide weather protection and can be easily packed away for storage.

Schemes must respect their surroundings and make provision for larger Christmas market events. Entries will be judged on their sensitivity, response to contextual issues, innovation and economic viability.

Digital submissions should include a single A1 board no larger than 20MB. The winning team, set to be announced on 5 September, will receive £500 and be invited to present its scheme to the local mayor.

How to apply


The registration fee is £50


The deadline for applications is 2 September

Contact details

5 rue Durantin

Tel: 09 53 02 30 68

Visit the competition website for more information

Middle of the Market case study: Q&A with William Haggard

The co-founder of CarverHaggard discusses lessons learned designing an innovative kit-of-parts stall for Chrisp Street Market in east London

How did your competition-winning Middle of the Market scheme respond to its unique context and the brief’s requirements?

We began by trying to understand as much as we could about how the current market operates. We spent time in the market and studied how the traders use standard stall components to make distinctive stalls and display their goods and produce. We drew the existing stalls in detail and spoke to the traders about how they use them. We also looked at the history of the market, which goes back more than 100 years, and the design of the buildings and the public spaces. The market is part of the Lansbury Estate, named after the local councillor and campaigner George Lansbury; it was designed by Frederick Gibberd as part of the Festival of Britain as a model urban community. In our research we found photos of a model and a description of the original plans for the market, which were very helpful in developing our approach for an evolution of the traditional steel-framed market rig.



CarverHaggard’s competition-winning proposal for Chrisp Street Market

What considerations are important when designing a low-cost installation intended to regenerate an existing public commercial space?

We think it’s very important to work with what is there already – not only the existing spaces and public realm, but also the governance, the social infrastructure and the local economy and supply chain. Successful regeneration projects have to support existing traders and residents. In this project we had the chance to prototype the stall design with traders; we proposed a simple and consistent framework to create an overall identity for the market at canopy level, and improve some of the things that don’t work so well in traditional markets, while enabling stallholders to use their existing fittings and display their goods in their own way.



Source: Image by Poplar HARCA Archives

Chrisp Street Market in 1962

How would you set about designing improvements for the Abbesses and Chateau Rouge markets in Montmartre?

We would try to get a feel for how the current markets work, who uses them, and who trades there. What’s the best way to create public benefit within the budget? Are there existing initiatives that could be supported, or small adjustments or new shared facilities that would benefit everyone? Is there something in the history that reveals something interesting about the present situation? Although this is an ideas competition, you’d want to understand how the markets are organised and how centrally managed they are, in order to gauge the appropriate scale and scope of any interventions.



CarverHaggard’s competition-winning proposal for Chrisp Street Market