The strict and original geometry, an extruded horseshoe-shaped arch, of the new market in the city center of Rotterdam, designed and built by the studio MVRDV, addresses very specific demands regarding the program and the construction process, but it also follows the Dutch studio’s innovative approach when it comes to designing new spaces for cities. A legal restriction set the point of departure —according to European regulations it is now compulsory to cover meat and fish markets for hygiene and health reasons—, and based on this premise the architects proposed a building that uses the roof to accommodate the complementary program whilst preserving the traditional role of market squares as gathering places. The 100,000 square meters of the project comprise the 228 apartments — which cover the private investment needed — the over100 market stalls and restaurants, and the 1,200 parking spaces, which make up an interrelated whole. All the apartments comply with the strict demands of Dutch law: with double facade, ensuring that there is sufficient natural light in the rooms that need it the most, and orienting the kitchens, storage zones and dining areas towards the market. The intervention is rounded off with the participation of artists Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam, who color the 11,000 square meters of the vaulted interior with the largest artwork in the Netherlands: a huge mural showing the fruits, flowers and vegetables that can be bought in the market.
MVRDV, a New Market Concept
Rotterdam's Last Icon
Rotterdam’s new market hall is the result of a competition of 2004 that had the studio based in the same city, MVRDV, as winner, with an innovative and iconic project and a budget of 175 million euros.