SCIA’s design tool analyses the Markthal’s complete structure

design tool, structural analysis,

SCIA Engineer’s structural analysis and design tool investigates and engineers the complete structure of the Markthal in the centre of Rotterdam

In this case study, SCIA Engineer reveals how its structural analysis and design tool assisted the optimisation of the Markthal.

The Markthal in the centre of Rotterdam is a unique project in many ways. It’s the first covered market hall in the Netherlands, enveloped in apartments and enclosed by cable net facades at the front and back. The top apartments form the keystone of the market hall, spanning 36m and carried by concrete walls.

The project has a footprint of ~120 x 90m and stands 40m tall. Underneath the building, a 4-storey deep underground car park has been created. The building’s foundations are a sand layer on top of a soft clay layer at a depth of around 30 m.

Optimising the superstructure

SCIA Engineer’s structural engineering software helped investigate and engineer the complete structure with cost optimisation as the driving force for project feasibility – the stability of the superstructure, the interaction between soil, foundations, substructure, superstructure and the behaviour of the cable net facades.

The lowest floor of the substructure was optimised to be as thin as possible, while retaining up to 12m of water pressure and withstanding settlement due to the soft clay layer. The superstructure was monolithically integrated in order to avoid vulnerable dilatations. The cable net facades were designed taking into account the non-linear behaviour of both concrete structure and cables (deformation determined forces) to reduce construction time and costs.

design tool, structural analysis,

  • Owner: Provast
  • Architect: MVRDV
  • General contractor: Mobilis+Martens & Van Oort (substructure) / JP van Eesteren (superstructure)
  • Engineering office: Royal HaskoningDHV
  • Construction period: 2010-2014

“This project is technically very interesting because the whole building has been modelled in 3D including the cable-net facade, supporting perforated structure and its foundations.

“The presentation showed the structural model and the completed building, demonstrating the use of SCIA Engineer to optimise the final design solution.”


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