Lifting a mobile formwork

Lifting a mobile formwork

Commissioned by: JP van Eesteren
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands

Raising a formwork construction precisely to the correct height to pour the concrete arch and place the concrete elements. Commissioned by JP van Eesteren, Holmatro supplied 680 ton locknut cylinders.


The Markthal, the first covered market hall in the Netherlands is located in the old city center of Rotterdam in the Laurenskwartier district. Rotterdam is following the example of cities such as Barcelona, Stockholm, and Birmingham, where covered market halls have been around for years. A horseshoe shaped building was constructed. It is an arch measuring 70 meters wide, 110 meters long, and 40 meters high. It was built by, among others, general contractor J.P. van Eesteren.

The Rotterdam Markthal has a floor surface equivalent to that of a soccer field. More than a hundred retailers offer their goods for sale in the first-floor market space and the basement. You can also dine at a variety of restaurants. There is a four-layer parking garage under the hall with 1,200 parking spaces. You walk out of the garage into the heart of the hall. People shop in the Markthal under a spectacular 40-meter high arch, which consists of 226 apartments. The apartments have spacious balconies that have a view of the Laurenskerk church or the river Maas.


Lifting a mobile formwork

The walls of the hall were constructed using normal building methods. However, the roof construction, including the penthouses, provided a particular challenge. Our client, Civiele Technieken De Boer Spanlift, was asked to design and build a mobile shuttering construction. This temporary support had to be movable in the horizontal direction and function as a mobile formwork in the vertical direction. The support had to bear a maximum load of approximately 3,000 tons. The horizontal movement was achieved using a proprietary sliding system.


To handle the vertical movement of maximally 250 mm at six lifting points, Civiele Technieken De Boer Spanlift called on Holmatro for help. After an intensive engineering period, we delivered eight locknut cylinders, each with a capacity of 680 tons and a travel distance of 250 mm.  These locknut cylinders were mounted under the posts of the shuttering construction. The control of the cylinders allowed the formwork construction to be raised precisely to the correct height to pour the concrete arch and place the concrete elements. After a few days, the construction could be placed on the sliding system to move it horizontally to the new position. This cycle of action was repeated until the entire roof construction was completed.

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