ANTWERP TOWER

Cities: ANTWERP
Countries: BELGIUM
Categories: MIXED USE
Work in Progress - Progetto Architettonico: WIEL ARETS ARCHITECTS
Beginning of Construction: 2017
Completion Date: 2019
Situated on a corner site, adjacent to the Flemish Opera house, the Antwerp Tower is an existing building that will be repurposed to hybrid-programmed residential tower, reusing the existing building’s structure, and shape. It is the city's third tallest tower. 
Currently 87 m tall, and expected to be 100 m when completed, the building will eventually total 59.800 m2. 
The tower sits atop a plinth, which to be outfit with retail space. There are dining, and wellness areas in the first level of the tower–with a sprawling plinth-rooftop terrace abutting the side façade of the adjacent opera. 
The building, which originally housed offices and retail, was constructed in the early 1970’s, and is defined by its diamond-shaped floorpan. Its redesign will see the diamond-shaped footprint of the tower atop the plinth extended beyond its current dimensions, maximizing living space for future residents. In order to create living units largely free of columns, the original structure is to be partly replaced by an alternating structural system of load bearing walls and columns. Each floor contains 6 to 14 units, each with its own loggia. Units range in size, from 40-120 m2, with penthouses up to 240 m2, located on upper floors. 
A façade system of polished concrete components–with a slightly golden hue–will compose the building’s new facade; they are enormous in scale, up to 9 m wide, and will minimize visual patterning on the facade, when seen from afar or at street-level. The same material extends to the building’s entrance lobby and the internal walls and ceilings of each loggia. Together with seamless windows in the units’ living spaces, and glass balustrades that front each loggia, the components’ scale balances with adjacent opera house’s abundant ornament. 
At ground level, retail is situated on the tower’s southern façade, along a pedestrian-only shopping street, while the main entrance for residents and visitors to the restaurant, offices, and wellness areas, is along the western façade, next to the opera’s main entrance. The lobby, within the plinth, is lit by natural daylight, by way of a void that extends through and up to the roof terrace above. Centrally located a mere 300 m from the city’s central train station, the redesigned Antwerp Tower will impart a 24-hour energy within this highly trafficked section of the city, while simultaneously creating a live-work-play destination–for residents and visitors alike. 

Photo credits: Wiel Arets Architects
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