New laws in the Netherlands require covered areas for traditional open air meat and fish markets due to new hygienic constraints. MVRDV posed the questions 'can we use this operation to evolve the market typology as well as densify the the city centre?' and 'Can we increase quality as well as density of programming?'
The Market Hall is part of the new inner city heart of the Laurens Quarter, the pre-war centre of Rotterdam. The buildingis a sustainable combination of food, leisure, living and parking, all fully integrated to enhance and make the most of the synergetic possibilities of the different functions. The hall is formed from an arch of privately developed apartments, strategically allowing private investment and iniative to provide a public space. The result is a covered square which acts as a central market hall during the day and, after closing hours remains lively due to restaurants on its first floor.
The apartments follow strict Dutch laws regarding natural day-light: all rooms that require natural light are situated on the outside. Kitchens, dining rooms and storage are positioned at the market side, establishing a connection to the market. The front and backside are covered with a flexible suspended glass façade, allowing for maximum transparency and a minimum of structure, which will be the largest of its kind in Europe.
The biggest and food hall of the Netherlands is build on the site where the roots of Rotterdam lie, namely at the Binnenrotte. When you enter the Market Hall Rotterdam in September 2014, you will most certainly be treated with a true visual highlight. Arno Coenen is – as a modern Michelangelo – going to adorn the inner wall of 11.000 m2 with a spectacular piece of corn stalks, fruits, flowers, vegetables and fish in amazing 3D. When looking around, you will see the sky, the clouds and the sun as the source of life on earth. Therefore it isn’t strange that Team Arno Coenen adopted an approach that remind you of Pixar movies. Rotterdam is shown to full advantage in the ‘Horn of Plenty’ as being an important node in the global network of food supply.