Rotterdam’s just-completed Markthal, or Market Hall, is an innovative, sustainably designed building charged with delivering local, healthy food to the city centre. But there’s one particular element of the structure that’s getting all the attention: An arching, technicolor tossed salad of a ceiling.
The architects at MVRDV are certainly well-known for their fantastical urbanism projects — in fact, just across town they’re building a giant reflective bowl for an art museum. Here they have carved out a tunnel of produce to serve as a stunning backdrop for the 100 food vendors. Plus, to provide additional civic value, the building is also ringed with 228 apartments. Yes, you could live here, with snow pea and pineapple views forever.
The directive for the building originated in new regulations for the city which required food vendors to operate out of covered stalls, rather than the traditional open-air markets. Not only is the market itself shielded from the elements above, each vendor operates out of standardised stations which satisfy the requirements health and safety officials. It’s a lot sleeker, for sure, but within these modernised stalls, the vendors have still managed to add enough of their own branding to make it feel almost as vibrant as the old-fashioned market.
BUT THAT CEILING! The mural, which is named “Horn of Plenty” is the creation of artists Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam, and is made from thousands of digitally printed screens which cover the ceiling like a mosaic. It is now officially the largest public artwork in the country.
If that wasn’t enough veggie art for you, how about the fact that this trippy laser-light show explodes in the space every night, which is meant to evoke “produce raining down from the sun.” Just watching it I’m getting some kind of betacarotene flashback. I reeeeeeally hope they pass out mushrooms. [MVRDV]