All images courtesy of Provast and MVRDV
To conclude a five year construction process, the Markthal in Rotterdam is holding its opening ceremony today, featuring an inauguration by Queen Máxima of the Netherlands. Led by developer Provast and designed by architecture office MVRDV, the structure combines two dissimilar program types, composed as a housing building which arches over an indoor market hall. The facility offers public access for eating, drinking, and shopping, while also accommodating 228 apartments featuring externally facing balconies.
As the first covered market hall in the Netherlands, the facility is expected to attract 4.5 to 7 million visitors per year. To promote this, the project’s main intention is to remain very open and accessible to the public. although the truncated elevations are physically enclosed for functional purposes, the use of glass curtain walls maintains a character of transparency. An underground parking garage contains 1,200 spaces, to accommodate the projected heavy usage.
The building’s surface treatment unites two contrasting elements: a gray natural stone cladding on the exterior façades and a vibrant and colorful mural arching above the market. The latter, by artists Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam, is titled ‘CORNUCOPIA‘ and features images of produce which are printed on perforated aluminium panels.
The market hall contains 96 fresh food stalls and shop units, representing both local and internationally based vendors and producers. The diverse cuisine spread ranges from, ‘fresh fish to game, from cappuccino to cheese, from chinese to dutch, from ice cream to local produce, from bargains to exclusive slow food.’
The arching housing building contains 102 rental apartments and 126 freehold units, among which 24 are penthouses. Each varies in size, from 80 – 300 sqm, while always featuring an external view to the city context and window to the market hall. The partitions are made of sound and smell proof triple glazing to experientially separate the living units from the food functions.