Groenplaats, Antwerpen (B)

The Groenplaats belongs to the public domain and therefore to the public infrastructure. The urban structure had its impact through several centuries. The daily use is however related to the needs of the moment and the technology available. It evolves and adapt over time. It is for the future of the Groenplaats is crucial, and therefore a great responsibility, this distinction ancients clearly. The urban space, its materialisation and detailing must be robust and durable. But above all it must "leave room" for appropriation by users. For life in the city's Green City is a necessary respite. It has the potential to provide space and support city life. That should be the common goal of all actors: to treat the Green City as living space and respect in favor of developing socio-cultural and economic qualities. Later all interventions and building objects are allocated in these two time dimensions. They are moderately detailed design and materialized. Specific requirements will be established to determine materials and structures. It is a big responsibility to consciously deal, it starts with the writing of this note, in the conduct of the development during the design, defining the requirements, build the project and the exploitation of space. The redevelopment of the site is an important milestone in the look back into the past and creating a quality future for the Green City in the heart of our city.

Expectations for the reconstruction of the Green Place are great, the public interest is high, both for the city and for its residents. The complexity no less. The desire to control all of these factors into a dedicated design is unrealistic. It is no longer of this time. Our team wishes with this offer to provide a modern know-how and attitude, bundled as a guide. It is intended to to give support to all those who have an interest in and a natural development of the Green Place. For that reason, the drawings and suggestions are just a little more than a white sheet. While it is elaborated on the basis a vision, it is a starting point, but made to die a ‘sneuvelconcept’. The key to a quality redevelopment of the square and its immediate surroundings lies in the meticulous process oriented guiding and directing all stakeholders around this project. This plan shows the spatial unity of the place and its three main components: the large open space in the north, planted and mass transport hub in the south. In line with other contemporary interventions in Antwerp, the composition provides a large, simple and clear space having a concentration of vegetation in place of the old built-up mass. One feels an organic design of the space - almost medieval - completed by a neoclassical hesitation around the statue of Rubens, unfettered perspectives and some alignments. As with the previous projects, these ambiguities show the spirit of the heart of the city of Antwerp. Several stone dressings used in pavement: in the central and peripheral parts of the square, and for terraces and areas with furniture. Slopes remain between 1.5 and 2.5%, in the direction of a large tray / water line that follows the line of the existing sewer system. A grid with trees is provided in a zone with full ground and with soil to a depth of 2.50 m. Healthy existing trees are preserved and new trees are planted in looser clusters in the northern entrances to the Green Place. Higher topography of the Green Spot offers gentle slopes. This covered area is partially surrounded by benches, including a wide element next to the tram and bus stop, and a new access to the subway and shopping mall. The program of the Groenplaats is an essential point for the proper management and sustainability of the square. The chaotic state and the current intensity of use have seriously damaged the integrity of the previous project. It is important to confirm the current function of the square and develop so the square can also be used in the future for other events. In this respect it is important to clearly identify which activities / events are allowed on the square, taking into account the physical capacity of the space and the impact perimeter of the UNESCO patrimony.

Study: 2014-2016 | Status: Ongoing

Foreseen execution: 2016-2017

Design & Engineering: Atelier Veldwerk, ARCADIS, Moritz&Simon Architectes, Ney+Partners and NP-BRIDGING

Client: Stad Antwerpen

Location: Antwerpen (B)

Dimensions: 15.000 m2

Total budget: 3.75 mln €