De Hangar, Antwerp (B)

A Renovation and expansion project of a historic warehouse along the River Schelde in the Northern District of Antwerp named Eilandje. A part of the old historic port of Antwerp with programs that include parking, public space, commercial functions, office space, office, design workshops, showrooms, restaurants and center for young entrepreneurs.

In 2000, NP-BRIDGING transformed the abandoned building into a new center, which included a variety of functions, planned for a use of 15 years. The building became the home to several notable firms, such as ATV a local TV-station and a party center named Stuurboord, which turned Hangar 26/27 in a well-known and visited place. Because of the success of the project, the city extended the concession for another 30 years. The client saw the need to renovate the whole building, including the façade and optimize the existing building layout. There was also a need to intensify the use of the plot, which lead to a doubling of the program, by adding a layer up and below the lifted building and extending it in its length.

The renovation is carefully designed in respect of the original design, the new façade includes the wooden-pattern of the old façade. Other adjustments were made to improve the experience, such as moving the entrances from hidden under the building to the front in view of the street.

The extensions are placed thoughtful and are designed to integrate with the building and its direct surrounding. The extensions are positioned and materialized based on the original building, a contrasting glass facade placed back underneath the original mass to preserve the shape and the floating effect of the building, while harmonizing the extension on the end of the building by applying the same lining and materials to exaggerate the length of the building.

The scope of the project is wide, including the co-ordination of the surrounding public transport, shaping a vision about where the nearby tram, bus and waterbus stations should be placed. Even looking at the touristic role Hangar played in its surroundings and helping to reshape the public space along the water, which Hangar is part of.

An in NP-BRIDGING’s perspective essential part of the approach of the project was keeping close contact with the many stakeholders and listening to their needs and wishes. Listening to them created new insights, extended the quality of the project and improves in the end the user satisfaction.

Sustainability was one of the most important themes of the project, decrease of waste, in terms of energy, and creating an adoptive building ready for change in the future. Both we seek to solve with a SMART Approach to the project, making the building sensitive and able to adjust. Not only the building itself but also its direct surroundings are included in this approach, the former office parking is changed in a self-thinking system, which made a part of the parking spots publicly available to increase the use and so the value of it.

The identity of the place changed, being more than just the former building. We wanted to mark this change, so we cooperated with the advertising agency LDV United to renew the identity and branding of Hangar, making it more recognizable and adoptable.

Design: 2016-2017

Execution: 2016-2018

Architect: NP-BRIDGING

Client: METRO NV

Structure: Ney&Partners

Contractor: Artes Roegiers

Total budget: 150 mln €

Consultancy fee: 1 mln €

Site: Antwerp, Belgium

State: Design & Excecution

Dimensions: 15.000 m2

Images: NP-BRIDGING & BMD