The Markthal (Market Hall) is a good example of innovative and daring Rotterdam architecture. It’s a multifunctional building and serves as a residential and office building with a large market hall underneath. Opened in 2014 by Queen Maxima, it immediately became an icon of Rotterdam and a top tourist attraction. Besides the large market hall, the complex houses 228 apartments, 4600 m2 retail space, 1600 m2 horeca and an underground 4-storey parking garage with a capacity of over 1200 cars.
The building has an archwise structure and was designed by the Rotterdam based architectural practice MVRDV. There is a glass facade on both sides made out of small rectangular windows. All of these are hung around a structure of steel cables, 34 metres high and 42 metres wide, which makes it the largest glass-window cable structure in Europe.
The ceiling of The Markthal is decorated by a huge digital painting called ‘The Horn of Plenty’. The artwork shows strongly enlarged fruits, vegetables, seeds, fish, flowers and insects and was designed by Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam. Some people (falsely) call it the largest artwork in the world or The Sistine Chapel of Rotterdam.
Inside the Markthal there are close to a 100 stands, most of them dedicated to food. From local private businesses selling sausages, spices or stroopwafels to larger chains like Bram Ladage or Dunkin Donuts. Unfortunately Covid-19 was greatly affecting business in the Markthal and some of the stand owners had to close down their stands.
The Markthal is located on a large square like street called the Binnenrotte, right next to the area where the main market of Rotterdam is held. Every Tuesday and Thursday about 250 market stands are selling a wide variety of products to the people of Rotterdam.