Markthal, Rotterdam

Sept. 26, 2014

A new shopping, eating and living experience is coming to Rotterdam this October. Markthal, Rotterdam will be the first indoor food market in Holland and will make an impact on the city’s skyline with its striking shape. The building is formed in an arch and measures 40 metres high. It has been designed by world renowned architect Winy Maas of the Rotterdam based practice MVRDV. The building will officially open to the public on 1st October 2014.

The market floor area will contain 96 fresh produce units, 15 food shops and 8 restaurants. The Markthal will be open 7 days a week until 8pm. The stalls and food shops will sell bread, dairy products, meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, seasonal produce, delicacies, flowers and plants. It is anticipated that the Markthal will attract in the range of 4.5 -7 million visitors a year.
Plans are also in the pipeline to create The World of Taste cookery school where workshops will be held.

What is also special about the Markthal is the possibility to live there. There are 102 rental apartments and 126 apartments for sale which includes 24 penthouses. These reside at the top of the arch above the market hall area. The apartment types will range from two to five rooms with areas of 80m2 to 300m2.

The interior wall of the arch has an impressive work of art entitled Horn of Plenty, it measures 11,000m2 and was designed by Arno Coenen. The artwork consists of 5 layers. The first layer of the work is the cauliflower sky, at first sight the sky looks clouded but on closer inspection the clouds are actually cauliflowers. The second layer of artwork shows the structure of the Markthal building. Like an x-ray it shows the ribs of the construction. The third layer is a visualisation of the network of the city of Rotterdam. This layer is shaped by the sun and stars that are mutually connected. This network symbolises the international character of the city and the Markthal’s location within this network. The artwork also references the location and architecture surrounding the Markthal and this architectural reference makes up the fourth layer. This includes de Laurenskerk, the church which resides next to the Markthal. The final layer depicts the products that will be on sale in the Markthal, this is portrayed by products falling from the sky.

Using modern 3D animation techniques artist Coenen creates a contemporary still life image. In order to render the still life the latest version of software of Pixar Animation Studios is used. The products depicted in the artwork seem photographed due to the great level of detailing achieved.

The images of the Horn of Plenty suggest that the artwork is already finished the final revelation of the artwork will not happen before October 2014 when the building is officially opened. There will be projections in the middle of the artwork that will bring the whole piece to life. The artwork dimensions are 120 x 90 metres and is comprised of over 4000 metal sheets. Each metal sheet is 1.5 x 1.5 metres. The artwork was made by Rotterdam based art producers Mothership.

The Markthal is easy to reach; with train, metro, tram and bus stops at Blaak station which is just 100 metres away. There are direct rail links with Centraal Station Rotterdam, Amsterdam, The Hague and Leiden. The Markthal also boasts an underground car park with room for 1200 vehicles.

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