History and museums
The Market Hall (Dutch: Markthal or Koopboog) is a residential- and office building with a market hall underneath, located in Rotterdam. The building was opened on October 1, 2014, by Queen Máxima of the Netherlands. 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 1200+ cars.
The Market Hall was designed by architectural firm MVRDV. The grey nature stone building has an archwise structure like a horseshoe. The building has a glass facade on both sides, these are made up of smaller glass windows. The smaller windows are mostly squared and around 1485 millimeters wide. 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. Each facade has 26 vertical and 22 horizontal cables.
The inside of the building is adorned with an 11.000 m2 artwork by Arno Coenen, named Hoorn des Overvloeds (Horn of Plenty). The artwork shows strongly enlarged fruits, vegetables, seeds, fish, flowers and insects.
The artwork of Coenen was selected out of 9 international candidates. The work was made using digital 3D-techniques. This enormous file of 1,47 terabytes needed special servers, these are also used by Pixar Studios for making animated movies. The digital 3D-animation was separated in 4000 pieces and then printed on perforated aluminum panels. The 4000 aluminum panels are now on the inside of the hall. Right after the opening in 2014, the artwork got a lot of attention from around the world. Some called it The largest artwork in the world or The Sistine Chapel of Rotterdam.
The Market Hall is built on top of a fourteenth-century buried village in the Polder of Westnieuwland. This polder was surrounded by water and dykes to protect the polder during high-tide. There were a few houses and farms in this polder, also at the site of The Market Hall.
During the building of the Market Hall, a tenth-century farm was found 7 metres under the ground. Within the house were two stoves and a few fireplaces. The farm was part of a village before Rotterdam, named Rotta, after the river Rotte. The inhabitants of Rotta were farmers, craftsmen and traders. Earlier, a small settlement from the fourteenth-century was found on the site.
Several foundations on the site are now exhibited next to the central staircases underneath the Market Hall.