In Praise Of Architectural Extravagance

Rotterdam-based MVRDV create the rare work of audacious architecture that doesn’t cater to obscene wealth.

Every now and then, a work of architecture comes along that makes your jaw drop. Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Bilbao was one. OMA’s CCTV Headquarters in Beijing was another. Almost always, these buildings are extravagant symbols of wealth, power or cultural ambition. The newly opened Rotterdam MarketHall, over a million square feet of housing and food stands organized within or beneath a massive 12-story arch, is the kind of uncanny structure ones tweets without thinking. As surreal as it appears in photos, the building is actually designed for the most down-to-earth uses: daily life.

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