De Markthal – Rotterdam

With a width of 42 metres and a height of 35 metres, the spectacular glass facades of the iconic Market Hall in Rotterdam are, as far as we know, the largest cable net facades in Europe. Octatube Services visits the building every year for inspection and maintenance of the Market Hall facades. 

Cable net facade

The ultrathin, hanging and flexible glass facades – designed by MVRDV – both have a total glazed area of over 1250 square meters. The typical glass panel is 1485 by 1485 millimetres, composed of clear heat-strengthened float glass. The single glass units are laminated with two panes of 6 millimetres. To make the facades as transparent as possible, no coating was applied to the glass.

In total there are 26 vertical and 22 horizontal cables. The cables are pre-stressed between strong steel consoles embedded into the concrete structure of the building. Together they form a suspended net with a single-layer support structure, similar to a tennis racket. While the net of a tennis racket bends and rebounds when a ball hits it, Market Hall’s cable net façade does the same when subjected to wind loads of up to 70 centimetres.


The movement of the facades puts considerable stress on the cables and all connections of the facades. This movement makes careful monitoring extra necessary. Twice a year, Octatube Services inspects the cables of the facades by measuring the tensions using hydraulic measuring equipment. We also inspect the sphere hinges, cable nodes, sealants and cables for damage or imperfections to keep control over these complex façades.

(To read more about the realisation of the Market Hall’s facades, visit the website of Octatube).