Boston Needs to Take a Good Hard Look at Rotterdam’s New Food Market

Ten years in the making, the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands (less than an hour drive from Amsterdam) has just unveiled a public market that will set the standard for design of food markets for years to come. On the base floor of a horseshoe-shaped tunnel, close to 100 food stalls will sell their mix of local cheeses, meats, produce, and flowers at the Markthal. The largest art piece in the Netherlands, Horn of Plenty by Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam, wraps the curving interior walls of the hall. Projected onto the individually placed screens are larger-than-life images of vibrantly colored fruits, grains, and vegetables. Arching high in the sky and surrounding the massive artwork are 228 apartments with sweeping views of this port city. The city of Boston should take a good look at this multi-use architectural marvel. Set to debut our own public market in 2015, it seems as if we’re settling for far less by just using space in the old Haymarket building. Why not set much loftier aspirations with an emphasis on the future, not the past?