Architecture

Rotterdam's new market housed under huge residential arch

Rotterdam's new market housed ...
Rotterdam's new market hall, Markthal, is a huge arch that houses residential apartments
Rotterdam's new market hall, Markthal, is a huge arch that houses residential apartments
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Rotterdam's new market hall, Markthal, is a huge arch that houses residential apartments
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Rotterdam's new market hall, Markthal, is a huge arch that houses residential apartments
The Markthal arch is 40 m (131 ft) high
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The Markthal arch is 40 m (131 ft) high
Markthal is 120 m (394 ft) long
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Markthal is 120 m (394 ft) long
An 11,000 sq m (118,403 sq ft) mural covers the inside of the Markthal arch
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An 11,000 sq m (118,403 sq ft) mural covers the inside of the Markthal arch
The mural was created by artists Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam
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The mural was created by artists Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam
The mural was printed by Pixar to achieve the desired level of sharpness
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The mural was printed by Pixar to achieve the desired level of sharpness
The Markthal mural depicts oversized images of market produce which can be bought at the market
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The Markthal mural depicts oversized images of market produce which can be bought at the market
The Markthal mural is called Cornucopia
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The Markthal mural is called Cornucopia
A transparent single-glazed net façade is used at either end of the Markthal
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A transparent single-glazed net façade is used at either end of the Markthal
Elevators lead to a lower level of the Markthal were there are 1,200 car parking spaces
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Elevators lead to a lower level of the Markthal were there are 1,200 car parking spaces
The Markthal ground and first floors accommodate retail units, restaurants and cafés
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The Markthal ground and first floors accommodate retail units, restaurants and cafés
The Markthall arch accommodates 228 residential apartments
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The Markthall arch accommodates 228 residential apartments
Markthal apartments look down onto the market
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Markthal apartments look down onto the market
Triple-glazed sound and smell proof windows are used to separate the market from the arch units
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Triple-glazed sound and smell proof windows are used to separate the market from the arch units
A new of the Markthal building
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A new of the Markthal building
A front view of the Markthal and glass façade
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A front view of the Markthal and glass façade
A view of the Markhal and its surrounding area
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A view of the Markhal and its surrounding area
A view of the Markthal from above
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A view of the Markthal from above
A view of the Markthal illuminated at night
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A view of the Markthal illuminated at night
A side view of the Markthal
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A side view of the Markthal
A view of the Markhal and ongoing construction work at night
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A view of the Markhal and ongoing construction work at night
A close-up view of the Markthal illumiated at night
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A close-up view of the Markthal illumiated at night

Rotterdam's redesigned Markthal (literally, Market Hall) was recently opened by Queen Máxima of the Netherlands. The new market is housed under a huge arch from which apartments look down upon it.

The new Markthal complex is designed by MVRDV, whose other unusual projects have included the Peruri 88 vertical re-imagining of the city of Jakarta and the Glass Farm glass building modeled on a Dutch farmhouse. Like both Peruri 88 and Glass Farm, the Markthal development has been designed with mixed use in mind.

The main purpose of the building, of course, is to house the market, which it does in a vast 120 m (394 ft)-long space below the 40 m (131 ft)-high arch. The space accommodates a total of 96 fresh food stalls and shop units, with parking for 1,200 cars below it. The whole building has an area of 95,000 sq m (1,022,571 sq ft) and is 70 m (230 ft) wide.

Markthal is 120 m (394 ft) long
Markthal is 120 m (394 ft) long

A transparent single-glazed net façade is used at either end of the arch to enclose the market space whilst maintaining the illusion of the arch being open at each end. Meanwhile, a huge mural covers the inside of the arch. The 11,000 sq m (118,403 sq ft) artwork – called Cornucopia – was created by artists Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam, and depicts oversized images of market produce which can be bought at the market. The image was rendered by Pixar software in order to achieve the desired level of sharpness.

The arch itself houses 228 apartments, ranging from 80 to 300 sq m (861 to 3,229 sq ft). Each apartment has a view either looking on towards the river Maas or the Laurens Church, and inwards overlooking the market. Apartments at the very top of the arch have sections of glass flooring that look directly down onto the market. In addition, the building has been awarded a BREEAM Very Good rating for its energy efficiency.

Construction of the building began 2009 and it was opened on October 1 2014.

The video below shows footage of the market, and an animated fly-around of the new Markthal building.

Update February 19 2015: The opening paragraph of this article has been amended to remove incorrect information relating to changes in Dutch law. Thanks to reader HarryNL for bringing this to our attention.

Source: MVRDV

MVRDV Markthal

8 comments
m8
Well, it 's probably worth a look...the city is generally one of the ugliest i have ever visited..having been bombed sh#tless during the 2nd WW....they build one ugly city since then.
Slowburn
The arch over the market is nice but the rest of the building is seriously ugly.
Fretting Freddy the Ferret pressing the Fret
Going by memory, ~1/3 of the old city was laid to waste by bombing, but ironically after the war ~2/3 of the old city was demolished to make room for new architecture. The architect that was in charge designed many of the newer buildings and was somewhat of a crazy person.
Bill Bennett
Blimp hangar.
Eric Lukac-Kuruc
Once again, it looks like the architects had no clue about the acoustics of a building that looks nice in 3D rendering. That place should be noisy like hell. Have you ever heard the sound you get in a tube-shaped train tunnel? Here it will be worse: not only the whole place is fitted with glass which is reverberating, but also because the two "tunnel" ends are enclosed with parallel facing glazing. An acoustic disaster.
owlbeyou
The Dutch are very practical people, and in an attempt to build a market place and residential building in one, they have come up with a design that is a compromise of function and form, and way over sized. Fail.
Slowburn
@ Eric Lukac-Kuruc What is the ceiling coated with?
Siegfried Gust
Normally I'm not a fan of architecture that seems to be built more to catch the eye than to be practical, but I kind of like this. Time will tell if the concerns mentioned in the comments above are real problems. I think it will be a success.