MAS = Museum aan de Stroom
Neutelings Riedijk Architecten
Antwerp, Hanzestedenplaats 1
If you want to know how the MAS originated, I can refer you to my blogpost on Slow Travel Antwerp. You can read more about the architecture here…
In 2000, the city council launched an architectural competition. A new museum had to be built between the docks. 55 architectural firms from all over the world participated. Five were selected to further develop their plans. Toyo Ito and Xaveer de Geyter did not win, the Dutch architecture firm Neutelings Riedijk did. The first stone was laid in 2006.
The museum is a warehouse, a warehouse for 180,000 objects. The entire MAS collection has 470,000 items, this also includes the harbor cranes. The port brought stories to the city. The boxes are not just stacked, but are turned a quarter turn on each floor. They are dark, massive spaces with a height of 6 meters. With the turning of each floor you get a kind of spiral upwards. The remaining space is the boulevard covered with wavy glass.
The museum boxes are suspended from a central, concrete core via the milkmaid principle. Steel trusses connect the floors and exterior walls with the core. Each frame weighs around 23 tonnes. You can also see those steel elements in the museumrooms, for example in the knowledge corner. The knowledge corner is the last part of every exhibition where you can sit and chat and where there are also computers and books with information about the exhibition.
Art and tower
The concrete walls of the exhibition rooms have decorations. It is indeed concrete. It looks like wooden planks, but that is because of the form of the formwork in which the concrete is poured. There are 2 special elements on these walls. One is that the lines of the boards extend into the ceiling and into the floor! The wooden planks on the floor, this is wood, have the same dimensions as the fake wooden planks in the walls. Another special feature are the decorations on the walls. There are threaded sleeves in brass, a fantasy of the architect, but a functional one! They can be used to hang artworks or other elements such as TVs or additional walls.
It was to become a tower of the people. The only tower in Antwerp that can be visited for free. Enjoy the panorama on the roof at a height of 62 meters. It is open until 24:00 in the summer and until 22:00 in the winter.
There is not only art in the museumrooms. There is a large mosaic of Luc Tuymans on the forecourt and medallions can be found in the boulevard. There are 3185 hands on the façade, the symbol of Antwerp. If you want, you can buy one for € 1000, – This way you will also be immortalized in the museum.
Price: 21 million euros: minister of culture (then Bert Anciaux) + 24 million euros: urban renewal fund + 11.6 million euros: private initiatives = Total 53 million.
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