Archive for October, 2014

Rotterdam’s colorful Markthal is unveiled

October 13, 2014

Now that I’m based in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, I have a new country and continent to explore. First, must unpack boxes! Meanwhile, I wrote in advance about Rotterdam’s new stunning market and can’t wait to visit it. Here’s the update:

Animated mural 'Horn of Plenty' covers the ceiling (courtesy Markthal Rotterdam)

Animated mural ‘Horn of Plenty’ covers the ceiling (courtesy Markthal Rotterdam)

Rotterdam’s spacious indoor market, Markthal, had a very colorful opening on Oct. 1, as it unveiled its the “Horn of Plenty” digital mural that adorns the walls and ceiling of the arch-shaped building. Queen Maxima was there for the opening, natuurlijk.

The mural covers 36,000 square feet and consists of 4,000 tiles that form a 3D print showing brilliant high-resolution images of fruits, vegetables and other items that are available at the market. The artwork was designed by the Dutch artist Arno Coenen in cooperation with Pixar (of Disney fame), which enlisted 3D animators and special effects experts. Animations of products appearing to be falling from the sky will be projected on the walls of the 131-foot-high building.

The crowds pour in for opening day (courtesy Markthal Rotterdam)

The crowds pour in for opening day (courtesy Markthal Rotterdam)

The market building features more than 90 fresh-food stands including bakers and fishmongers, as well as eight restaurants, 15 retailers, 228 apartments and 1,200 parking spaces, making it the country’s first indoor market hall with a combined commercial and residential function.

While the overall effect is futuristic, a glimpse into Rotterdam’s past can be seen on the TijdTrap, or TimeStairs, an exhibit set into the staircases of the five floors of escalators. Paying homage to the market’s location, around where the city was founded in the late 13th century, it includes a historical timeline and archaeological artifacts discovered during construction.