Provincehouse under construction

Provincehouse

Xaveer de Geyter Architecten

Antwerp, Koningin Elisabethlei 22

2011 – 2019

Site visit

On Sunday, May 7, the time had finally come: the public could visit the site of the province house. I had been looking forward to seeing this building inside and close for a long time. The new tower is by Xaveer de Geyter (XDGA), who also participated in the Open Calls for the MAS and the new Port House. In both games he was in the last five, but was not allowed to win. Here he did win the Open Call in 2011. It is on the site of the old Provinciehuis from 1969.

History

The first Province House was not on this spot, but it was the old Bishop’s Palace on the Schoenmarkt. Because it became too small there, they wanted to move outside the city center. Various architects, such as Eduard Van Steenbergen and Braem, were hired for a design. It eventually became a design by Maurice De Vocht and René Grosemans. The first sketch designs were made in 1961 and 1962. Only in 1966 was the first stone laid. The structural work was finished in 1969. The tower had a height of around 70 meters, higher than the new building. It was commissioned in the second half of 1970s. It was completely finished in the 1980s. In 2005, it was concluded that the building was outdated. No good energy performance, concrete rot in the structure and poor pipes were just a few factors to decide on a new building, which turned out to be cheaper than a renovation. A first Open Call was launched in 2008, but no building program could be determined, so it was terminated. A second call followed in 2011.

Open Call

A condition for the Open Call was that the beam-shaped volume of the front building had to be preserved and renovated. There were 80 entries where 5 were selected by the provincial government and the Flemish Government Architect. AWG architects, among others, was among the last 5. When the final plan was worked out, it appeared that maintaining the front building was technically difficult to achieve. It was then decided to demolish the entire building. The garden of the province house will be publicly accessible.

Design

At the bottom is a block where an auditorium, exhibition space, conference room and meeting rooms are spread over two floors. It is a glass block with an optimal view of the greenery around it. A public roof terrace will be installed on the roof of this part. The tower with offices is perpendicular to the substructure. The entire building will be 57 meters high. The offices are located in open spaces where there is room for different workplace types. The structure consists of two vertical cores, with half-timbering and columns in between, and a load-bearing façade, so this open plan can also be realized. The facades also consist of a framework, so the triangular windows are created.

The shape ensures a good balance between maximum daylight and a limited glass surface. But 40% of the façade consists of glass for energy performance. The facade of the tower is clad with round glass mosaic. Because of the kink of the tower and the light reflection of the facade, the neighbors will not have any shadow effects.

Numbers and data

  • Contractor: THV NV DEMOCO – NV DENYS
  • Stability: Bollinger und Grohmann
  • Techniques + EPB: Studiebureau Boydens
  • BREAAM: excellent
  • Start construction: oktober 2014
  • First stone: september 2015
  • Inauguration: najaar 2018

 

  • Public parc: 22 000 m² greenery with 154 trees and 7431 bushes
  • Garage: 310 cars + 400 bikes
  • Steel bridge: 330 tons of 36m x 25m x 12m
  • Solar panels: 134
  • Triangular windows: 683
  • Glasmosaics on the facade: 9,7 miljoen
  • Employees: 900
  • Height: 57,7 meter

Province house under construction

 

Xaveer de Geyter Architecten

Antwerp, Koningin Elisabethlei 22

2011 – 2018 

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