MVRDV's Markthal
Rotterdam opens


News: Markthal Rotterdam, the covered food market and housing development shaped like a giant arch by Dutch architects MVRDV, has officially opened today after five years of construction (+ slideshow).

Markthal by MVRDV opens in Rotterdam

The Netherlands' first covered market is located in Rotterdam's city centre and has space for 96 fresh produce stalls and 20 hospitality and retail units on the lower two floors.

Markthal by MVRDV opens in Rotterdam

MVRDV's design for the building comprises an 40-metre arched roof that contains 228 apartments, covering the public space based on food markets in Stockholm, Barcelona and Valencia.

Markthal by MVRDV opens in Rotterdam

A colourful one-hectare mural by artists Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam covers the inside of the arch, printed onto perforated aluminium panels then attached to acoustic panels for noise control.

Markthal by MVRDV opens in Rotterdam

"Cornucopia shows oversized images of market produce which can be bought at the market, while the flowers and insects refer to the work of Dutch still life masters from the 17th century," said MVRDV.

Markthal by MVRDV opens in Rotterdam

Giant glazed walls at each end protect the market from the cold and wet weather, constructed using pre-stressed steel cables that create a suspended net in-between which the glass panes are hung.

Markthal by MVRDV opens in Rotterdam

Square windows puncture the flat grey end walls and the curved internal arch, allowing residents to look down onto the market.

Markthal by MVRDV opens in Rotterdam

Balconies for the apartments run along the sides of the building, with views either towards the historic Laurens Church or the River Maas.

Markthal by MVRDV opens in Rotterdam

The apartments and duplexes – from two to five bedrooms and a mixture of rental and freehold – occupy the upper nine storeys, while the lower two floors are taken up by retail units.

Markthal by MVRDV opens in Rotterdam

The shops all sell food-related produce and an underground supermarket is also included in the complex.

Markthal by MVRDV opens in Rotterdam

A staircase in the centre of the market, named The Time Stairs, showcases a permanent exhibition about the history of food and artefacts found during the excavation of the site.

Markthal by MVRDV opens in Rotterdam

Twenty-four-hour parking is located underground, with 1,200 spaces spread over four storeys.

Markthal by MVRDV opens in Rotterdam

The project, by developer Provast, forms part of the city council's to redevelop the Laurenskwartier district where it's located. It was opened by Queen Máxima of the Netherlands during a ceremony earlier today.

Markthal by MVRDV opens in Rotterdam

The City of Rotterdam first launched the competition to design a combined market hall and residential building in 2004, which was won with the design by MVRDV in collaboration with INBO architects, Royal HaskoningDHV, Peutz and Techniplan.

Concept diagram – click for larger image
Concept diagram – click for larger image
Concept diagram – click for larger image
  • jo

    What the? Thousands of outdoor photos, but not a single one from the inside.

  • Allan

    The building isn’t finished yet. You hurry with news to be first. It’s so pathetic of design blogs. I want to see photos when it’s operating in its surroundings.

    • Allan

      But now you’ve changed the photos which makes my comment irrelevant.

  • Chris Brueckner

    I’m so over supergraphics.

  • Chris MacDonald

    I think I love it. I’m not sure. Might take a look again in a few months and see how I feel about it. Either way, it at least provokes a reaction!

  • amsam

    The new gruesome-tacky is fabulous!

  • All of you need a hug. This is dope.

  • Leo

    I like this design very much. However, is the market volume heated? It must cost a fortune to heat such a space.

  • DominicG

    This building resembles the rotting carcass of a beached whale, complete with the lurid colours of putrefaction and people like tiny maggots animating the body cavity and ribs. Ugh.

    On the other hand, it is a clever building structurally, and it has drama and theatre. It could be an astute commercial design (see related video Perhaps a template for future buildings combining living and social space in big cities.

    But a bedroom facing onto that market hall, without natural light or natural ventilation? Not for me, thanks.

    • Joost

      All bedrooms of the apartments are facing the street and do have natural light and ventilation. Only the penthouses have some bedrooms above the indoor market. But those bedrooms get their sunlight and natural ventilation via a small courtyard in the middle of the apartment. From this courtyard you can see the indoor market via a glass window in the floor.

    • Richie

      It’s a mural of fruit and vegetables. Do you think you’re being a bit overdramatic?

  • pierre

    I’m not sure I would like to have half the windows of my apartment opening onto a noisy indoor market.

  • Nick

    This is awful. Why do places like Rotterdam – working-class cities that are trying to regenerate – always get the “wacky” architecture? Why can’t they build something grand, beautiful and well detailed. Just for once. It might give Rotterdam a chance to slowly stitch itself back together again.

  • becker

    Sort of ugly, probably horrible to live in and probably a bad investment in. Therefore it’s a real MVRDV building! Well done guys. Keep on polluting the world with your fake cleverness that catches the unimaginative developer every time.

  • Mindaugas

    The front façade is the most disappointing. It lacks detail and features cheap-looking materials. The “U” shape is extremely pretentious without any clear idea why you would do this, except maybe reacting to an eccentric overall context.

    The other problem is that the building leads completely nowhere. No path, no street, no particular view.

    I love everything else about this building. It kind of reminds me of OMA’s Kansai Kan proposal, as I remember Winy Mass worked at OMA at that time.