In April 2014, rain and hail inundated Mexico City, flooding the building that housed the Mercado Rio Blanco, a huge public market in downtown Mexico City that was home to 450 vendors. City officials knew they’d need seven or eight months to rebuild, but they didn’t intend to let the vendors down in the meantime.
To ensure the vendors still had a place to sell and customers a chance to buy, officials asked Mexico City-based Carpas y Lonas El Carrousel S.A de C.V. to create a specialty structure that could house a provisional marketplace in a street near the flooded building. And could it be ready within two weeks?
Yes, it could. Within the timeframe, the tent maker constructed modular structures that covered 3,628 square meters of outdoor space. The temporary buildings were comprised of a 17-by-90-meter central tent along with north and south tent enclosures and two independent tents that measured 360 square meters each. The structures are comprised of white, 18-ounce polyvinyl chloride blackout fabric— Fortoflex 680 from Megaplast, S.A de C.V., also of Mexico City.
Carpas y Lonas El Carrousel was able to erect the enclosures within the shortened time period because it regularly rented 10-by-20-meter modular structures and could adapt them to cover the specified outdoor area. The company-designed modular assembly system, comprised of galvanized steel that supports the ceiling of the structure and walls, was created for heavy-duty use and is less expensive to erect than aluminum structures.
The tents played temporary home to the marketplace for 11 months while merchants and their customers barely skipped a shopping beat as their beloved market was rebuilt.