Impression Markthal Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Copyright: Provast

Rotterdam, the second-largest city in the Netherlands, will soon be home to Markthal, a 40 m tall and 70 m wide arch containing more than 200 apartments as well as restaurants and shops overlooking a 100-stall public market. The Rotterdam-based architecture firm MVRDV designed the €175-million (U.S.$256.4 million) structure for the developer Provast, of The Hague.

RoyalHaskoningDHV has performed the structural design of the Market Hall. The most challenging aspects of the structural design are the deep excavation in what has been called 'thick soup', the construction of the arch structure itself, and the suspended cable net, or 'tennis racket' glass wall on the arch entrances.

The distinctive hallway will serve as a public square offering sales of produce, meat, and fish by day and lively leisure activities by night, its curved walls and ceiling covered with an artwork already called the modern version of the Sistine Chapel.

The arch's front and back openings will be covered with flexible suspended glass facades, giving an open-air feel to the structure even though it will be enclosed. The structure's multilevel basement will feature an underground supermarket and a parking garage.

Queen Máxima officially opened the Market Hall on October 1, 2014. Read more.

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