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MVRDV completes Rotterdam market hall

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[FIRST LOOK + PLANS] MVRDV has completed this tunnel-like market hall in Rotterdam

The building next to the city’s train station features a 40m-tall arch wrapped in flats.  

The apartments which range in size from 80 – 200m² are located from the third floor of the arch-shaped building. Of the 228 apartments, half look out onto the central market.

The interior features a large 11,000m² digital art piece depicting a photographic 3D illusion of fresh products such as fruit, fish, bread, flowers and also the tower of adjacent Laurens Church.

According to the Rotterdam-based practice, the exterior of the building is clad in grey stone similar to the surrounding pavements ’ so as not to detract from the artwork’.  


The architect’s view

‘Its shape, its colourful interior and the height turns Markthal into an unique spectacle. Unique is not only its shape and size, but especially the way the different functions are combined. The combination of an apartment building covering a fresh food market with food shops, restaurants, a supermarket and an underground parking is found nowhere else in the world.

‘The building is a new statement in the urban structure of Rotterdam with its high diversity of icons from the days of reconstruction and urban renewal, but also some new buildings that have been realised over the last years. It is in line with the city’s ambition to house more people in the centre and to raise the life quality in post-industrial Rotterdam through a series of large scale projects and countless bottom-up projects. The combination of styles of architecture forms an excellent environment for the spectacular design of Markthal.

‘The building needed to be as open as possible to attract the public and at the same time it had to be closed off due to weather conditions. Keeping the closure as transparent as possible a cable net façade was chosen which needs very few constructive elements. Its principle is comparable to a tennis racket in which the steel cable are used as strings in between which the glass is mounted. This cable net façade is the largest of its kind in Europe. Because of this miracle of engineering the art piece inside is visible from the outside, its lush shapes and colours invite the public to enter the building. The exterior of the Markthal is executed in grey natural stone, the same as on the pavements, to put the emphasis onto the interior.’

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