Markthal, or The Market Hall, is part of the exciting development of the inner city in the heart of Rotterdam. The way in which multiple structures and spaces interact with each other is part of its charm. A large arch covers and encloses the central market hall, and the arch itself is in fact a residential building made up of 228 apartments. The space is highly adaptable in use, it serves as the place to find all the best fresh produce during the day and as a lively social hub as locals gather in bars and restaurants on the first floor into the evening.

The apartments follow strict Dutch laws regarding natural daylight. All rooms that require natural light are situated on the outside of the building; the other rooms are positioned on the market side, establishing a connection between residential and commercial spaces.

The development features a flexible suspended glass facade, the largest of its kind in Europe, which allows for maximum transparency and a minimum of structural support. Perhaps the visual centrepiece of the market hall, ‘The Horn of Abundance’ is a breathtaking work of art which covers the entire ceiling.

The access solution needed to include, as a key requirement, practical systems for maintaining this important artwork in immaculate condition. The solution also required access to the all areas of the market hall interior for cleaning and maintenance tasks. A gantry system, 28 metres in length, runs on a twin track and is sympathetically incorporated within the ceiling, designed and deployed with care so as not to detract from the visual splendour of the art. The gantry also features a mobile work platform which allows safe access to heights of up to 40 metres, satisfying the needs of the highest sections of the facade.

In addition, under the bridge a mobile, pivoting platform is provided with a self-hoisting platform of 8 metres in length. A curved guide rail allows for the platform to follow the arc of the facade.

Manntech were chosen for this project based on the ability to provide custom designs to meet any building access needs, including the very specific requirements of The Markthal.

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