A brand new architectural icon opens in the city of Rotterdam

Markthal Rotterdam is the Netherland’s very first covered market. Located in a historical corner of the Dutch city, Markthal regroups a veritable mini-village within the larger urban setting.

Local firm MVRDV was asked to create a building that was closed and protected from inclement weather, but a building that would also be an extension of the surroundings, including the adjacent open air market. The architects also wanted to ensure that the building was attractive for and accessible to the general public. Thus, the firm decided to create a long, arch-shaped structure with an opaque exterior and a large, hollow center. To protect the center while privileging public accessibility and natural light, a glass facade was installed on either end of the building, making entry easy from both ends.

The exterior arch of the building houses over two hundred individual apartments, while the wide open ground floor in the center houses the fresh food market under an immense vaulted ceiling. The market equally contains shops, restaurants, a supermarket and an underground parking garage, which creates a busy, humming universe in the heart of the Binnenrotte Square. A secondary goal of the building is to incite further renovation and development in the surrounding neighborhood, Laurenskwartier.

Inside the market, an immense work of lush art covers the walls and ceiling. It is visible from the outside and creates the dreamlike illusion of a rainbow on the glass that is not unlike the colorful film on a bubble. The unique shape and the brilliant optical effect of the mural and glass will definitely turn the Markthal into a new architectural icon for Rotterdam.



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