4 October 2014 – new and old markets: Rotterdam and Cardiff

Rotterdam has a spectacular new market that opened this week and there is a lively report – with photos – written by Oliver Wainwright, who opens with this:
A four-storey high raspberry tumbles past a tree-sized floret of broccoli, while gigantic prawns plummet towards a pile of mega-mange tout. In Rotterdam’s new market hall, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d slipped down a rabbit hole into Wonderland, where a panorama of supersized fruit and veg rains down across the ceiling. It’s a Sistine chapel of fresh produce.
It’s well worth a read and a look at the pictures – you can see it here. Alongside this ‘supersized psychedelic Dutch marketplace’ with its 175 million euros price-tag – there is another piece in the media about Cardiff’s Victorian market and some of its arcades – described as a different kind of ‘architectural gem’ – which is in need of urgent repair. In this case, the Welsh capital’s market is suffering from not only ailing buildings but also from a £675m redevelopment at the other end of the shopping precinct. Again, well worth reading (and more photos) – you can see it here. A contrasting tale of new and old, as markets adapt to changing shopping habits. Rotterdam’s Markthal is concentrating on local, organic produce, with a centre to promote healthy cooking, and even plans for mini urban farms on the market stall rooftops (not forgetting the 230 flats and a gigantic chain supermarket in the basement below), as Cardiff’s market struggles to attract footfall and feels excluded from redevelopment in the city.

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