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Reizende Drijvende Markt

Travelling Floating Market_

author(s):Jonathan Davidson (JD)


The site lies in Heijplaat, southwest of central Rotterdam, within the former RDM dock on the southern bank of the Nieuwe Mass River and at the head of a man-made industrial peninsula. Having fallen into disuse with the closure of the shipyard in the mid-90s, the area is being regenerated as a campus under the banner Research - Design - Manufacture. This has created a new educational and small business focus, but how will the future growth of the area be sustained?

This project will act as an economic and social catalyst, with the aim of creating vibrant public spaces where local residents, workers and visitors can interact throughout the day and linger into the evenings. This re-invigoration of the dockside – increasing public activity and encouraging occupation of the areas beyond - will be achieved through:

  1. A flexible market place providing floating shopping opportunities that can be relocated to other similar markets along the city’s riverfront;
  2. Adaptive venues for entertainment that will remain open after the market and surrounding campus;
  3. Public and green space along multiple promenades, linking the market and entertainment and allowing users to wander, relax and enjoy the surrounding views, before passing beyond to neighbouring venues and transport links.


De Geleerde Netwerk | Floating Theater | Lusthof | Food CenteRDM | VFOOD Restaurant


Hover over all images for accompanying text

Eastern elevation of the market, situated along the western edge of the RDM dock.

Located in front of the existing RDM campus Innovation Dock building, the market has incorporated the dock cranes into its regenerated dock landscape, whilst the imposing facade wall is now used as a cinema screen and performance backdrop by the market social hub

By creating a flexible market space the project aims to act as an economic and social catalyst for the area

The market provides several animated thoroughfares across the dock, plus two initial social hubs for the local community.

The northern edge of the market has transformed the former dockside, creating a green oasis for taking a break from the market bustle

The southern edge of the market connects seamlessly with the neighbouring De Geleerde Netwerk, forming new public spaces where local students, workers and visitors can gather before moving onto the market's stalls and social hubs, plus other RDM venues

Where the main east-west and north-south market promenades intersect a floating public space has been created in the RDM dock, where stalls congregate and a future cafe is proposed. This axis is also aligned with the main connection bridge between the market social hubs beyond

Looking east towards Lusthof - the social hubs include public roof terraces offering panoramic views over the market and RDM dock beyond

As the working day ends people commute through the market from the surrounding RDM campus, whilst new housing to the west will attract visitors along this route shown

The blank imposing wall of the Innovation Dock building now comes alive at night, as the cinema facade opens and the show becomes open-air for all to enjoy

At night the market promenades are warmly lit by the anchor masts, inviting people to wander along to the various entertainment venues.


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