Brushing eyes, combing toenails, flossing knees, and buying butts at the supermarket.
The Allurement of MVRDV's Rotterdam Markhal
Rarely does a market place transform an entire city – usually it is museums or art galleries, sometimes a hotel that brings in the crowds. MVRDV’s Rotterdam Markhal, a shielded market with apartments and underground parking. Rotterdam has experienced a surge in visitors since its new Markthal, the first shielded market in the Netherlands, after its grand opening in October 2014.
Rotterdam’s Markthal has already achieved architectural cult status. The Markhal has helped revamp the area economically, socially, and formed a new artistic wonderland starting with the daring arch of truly titanic proportions that stands out even in this city of architectural heavyweights, the Stalks of barley, six floors tall, sprout towards the sun while huge strawberry descends from the sky. An enormous butterfly flutters through the landscape, its turquoise wing contains a window from which someone waves. The power of new architecture to regenerate a city is well documented. The market hall’s massive ceiling is painted with the world’s largest work of art, a colorful mural by Dutch artists Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam.
The building was designed by MVRDV in 2004. The Rotterdam’s Markthal is an energy efficient building and has been awarded a BREEAM. The Markthal attracted a large number of visitors at anytime of the year; the open sides had to be closed to prevent rain and cold from entering. The exterior facade is clad in a gray natural stone; the same is used for the market floor and the surrounding public space, in this way the emphasis lays on the colorful interior. Rotterdam’s Markthal helps to promote the city’s economy. The building has received over 6 million visitors to date. The influence of the new architecture extends beyond visitor numbers, the Markthal reformed the image and allurement of Rotterdam reputation as a city of a bold architecture to a playful illusion.
WRITTEN BY: RAWDAH AL NAIMI
PHOTO CREDIT: MVRDV