Rotterdam's "Markthal" (English: Market Hall) is very impressive. During the press event for EuroShop 2017, we visited the building and share our impressions with you.
The hall was designed by architect Winy Maas and the MVRDV Company from Rotterdam. The building cost 175 million Euros. The aim is to provide a qualitative contrast to the traditional street market in the directly adjoining market square, which offers simple goods, whereas the market hall presents delicacies at a higher price.
The enormous arched roof of the building that opened in 2014 primarily shows over-sized fruits, flowers, and animals inside, but there are also buildings near the hall like the Laurenskerk – a church that remains the only remaining medieval structure of the old Rotterdam. Dutch artist Arno Coenen is responsible for the colorful design of the ceiling, also known as the "cornucopia".
It is amazingly quiet under the horseshoe-shaped ceiling of the building. As they enter the hall, visitors might expect the sounds of a railway station, yet the ceiling’s surface material pleasantly absorbs most of the noise.
Some of the market booths are true eye-catchers. They showcase appetizing premium fares as well as trendy foods. One of the retailers is an organic butcher, who really knows how to present his products in a fashion-forward store design using trendy natural materials and images that address responsible farm animal practices.
In addition to the market booths and culinary options inside, which in some instances spread over two levels, guests can also find smaller stores emphasizing Asian or organic products and a shop with cooking utensils on the ground floor as well as a large supermarket on the basement floor.
Yet not all retail spaces are occupied. Some booths appeared to be empty during the time of our visit – whereas the dining venues were well frequented. Meanwhile, shortly after the hall’s opening, crowds were sometimes so large that guests had to wait to be let in due to safety concerns.