MVRDV designed the Markthal Rotterdam to be "as proud as possible"

MVRDV designed the Markthal Rotterdam to be "as proud as possible"

Movie: in this exclusive interview, architect Winy Maas of MVRDV explains how the firm developed the distinctive curving arch design of the Markthal in Rotterdam, which opened today.

Markthal by MVRDV opens in Rotterdam

MVRDV's Markthal Rotterdam comprises a residential complex that arches 40 metres high over the top of an indoor market.



Speaking to Dezeen in Rotterdam just before construction was completed, Maas explained that the building's unusual shape came about because he thought the initial scheme proposed by the developer was "boring".

Markthal by MVRDV opens in Rotterdam

"In the beginning they wanted to have two slabs of houses, with a sort of market in between... so you get a U-shaped volume," he said. "I said 'eurgh, that's boring. Why don't we twist it?'"

Markthal Rotterdam by MVRDV

The new form provided more penthouses, a structurally simple arch and plenty of retail units on the ground floor, so the client gave the go-ahead.

Markthal by MVRDV opens in Rotterdam

Internal windows in the apartments provide residents with views of the market below, while shoppers can glimpse the people above.

Markthal by MVRDV opens in Rotterdam

"Every house has a window that look into the hall," said Maas. "When you're in the market hall you see urban life. When you go up where the windows are flat you can see people walking over the windows looking down."

Markthal by MVRDV opens in Rotterdam

"We wanted to intimise [sic] the relationship with the hall, but when you do that with 250 houses you get a grand scale. Rotterdam needs and deserves a grand scale."

Markthal by MVRDV opens in Rotterdam

The architects wanted to provide a landmark in the city, as well as a place for people to enjoy culinary experiences.

Markthal by MVRDV opens in Rotterdam

"We decided, with the Markthal, to make it as proud as possible, in a city that longs for living with food," Maas said.