Horn of plenty
Living and shopping in Rotterdam
The Markthal in Rotterdam - opened in 2014 - is 120 metres long, 70 metres wide and 40 metres high. Designed by MVRDV, the complex dominates the city centre like a type of triumphal arch.
The initial plan involved building a market hall for those living locally in the Laurenskwartier as well as two long blocks of flats. This was when the idea of combining the two construction projects into one complex was born. This stroke of inspiration led to the Markthal, which has already been hailed as a masterpiece.
Iconic buildings often end up with nicknames. When it came to the Markthal, the local press was quick off the mark, dubbing the project “Food Valhalla”. This is a fitting moniker for the structure, which houses some 100 market stands across 4,000 square metres. These stands are protected from the elements by a twelve-storey shell featuring 126 freehold and 102 rental flats as well as 24 penthouses and office space.
The greatest challenge for the architects was arranging the floor plans of the flats so that the rooms that require daylight are on the exterior of the building. However, the occupants still get to enjoy the lively goings-on inside the building, as the atriums in the uppermost penthouses have been fitted with glass floors that look down onto the world below. They are cloaked in what is arguably the building’s greatest attraction, the magnificent “Hoorn des Overfloeds” (English: “Horn of Plenty”) fresco with its giant flowers.
The low-noise piping system Silent-db20 and the roof drainage system Pluvia were chosen for the Markthal’s drainage concept. Because this system works using negative pressure, it only needs small pipe cross-sections and few discharge stacks – a decisive advantage when dealing with curved roofs such as the one at the Markthal.