Rijeka's market pavilions were constructed between 1880 and 1881 according to the project by Izidor Wauchnig, an engineer from the City Technical Office.
Two equal pavilion-type structures were placed one behind the other along the longer axis of symmetry, continuing into the fishing market, on an area that had just been filled in a few years before (civitas novae).
According to the original project, the interior of both pavilions was designed as a large and high room without any partitions, with sales “boxes” along the outer shell of the building. Only the area of the entrances and exits on the front and back façades of both pavilions were separated from the central sales “hall”. Furthermore, two separate areas were planned in the centre, which would also serve for sale, but they would also direct the movement of buyers.
In 1971, another floor was added to the first pavilion, accessed by the staircase in the centre of the ground floor, and in 1974, the same was done on the second pavilion. In this pavilion, the staircase is situated in the southeast corner of the building. An open space above the separate areas in the ground floor was formed on the first floor, bordered by rail, so movement is circumferential just like on the ground floor.
The entire appearance of the building is characterized by an iron construction. On the outside, it can be seen in the form of the side elevations, with walls in the lower part and a glass shell with iron frames in the upper part. This manner of construction was common at the time in municipal construction so it is clear that Wauchnig was well-acquainted with the contemporary construction trends and innovations. The north and south (entrance) façades are divided into three registers, of which the central one represents the entry portal, while the side ones are walled areas with decorative elements.
Besides the window area and decorations made of terracotta, the pavilion façades have a recognizable green colour which lost its glow during the years. In 2009, on the request by the Conservation Department in Rijeka, the first pavilion was restored to its original colour, and some other construction works were performed like roof repair and the restoration of architectural sculptures. During the works, the market remained open. In its 125 years of work, the market was closed only during renovation/reconstruction in 1971 and 1974.
Although the pavilions are not included in the List of Protected Immobile Heritage of the Republic of Croatia, the restoration from 2009 says a lot about the significance of the pavilion in the everyday life of the city, and it is supposed that owing to its historic and municipal importance such care will continue in the future.
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