Today the Markthal Rotterdam designed by local practice MVRDV opens its door to the public. The covered market is located in the city center of Rotterdam and comprises 96 fresh produce units and 20 hospitality and retail units. The roof of Markthal is shaped by an arch of 228 apartments. A four-story underground car park offers 1.200 parking lots. This combination of market and housing is the first of its kind, making it a world premiere. The inside of the archway bears the biggest artwork in the Netherlands: The Horn of Plenty, designed by Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam.
Markthal draws inspiration from food markets in Barcelona, Valencia and Stockholm. Market vendors will offer a diverse range of regional and international products such as fresh fish, poultry, cheeses, coffee, vegetables and fruit, besides a crockery and a wine shop. Next to the sales units, ‘The World of Taste’, a center for education, information and innovation in the field of healthy eating and ‘The Time Stairs’ aim to engage the visitors in the history of food and its development. The Time Stairs is a permanent exhibition along the central staircase of Markthal which will showcase the archeological finds discovered during the site excavation.
In order to attract a large number of visitors, the building is designed with an open character. The open sides had to be closed to prevent rain and cold from entering, but kept as transparent as possible by opting for a single glazed cable net façade. Comparable to a tennis racket, pre-stressed steel cables create a suspended net in-between which the glass panes are hung. Markthal’s cable net façade is the largest of its kind in Europe and flexible to withstand heavy storms.
The exterior facade is clad in grey natural stone; the same is used for the market floor and the surrounding public space, in this way the emphasis lays on the colourful interior.
Markthal will be open seven days a week, Mondays to Saturdays from 10 am till 8 pm (late opening till 9 pm), and Sundays from 12 pm till 6 pm, with extended opening times for the restaurants. The underground parking is open 24 hours a day.
all images © OSSIP VAN DUIVENBODE