Montevideo Warehouses, Antwerp (B)

The Montevideo project is located in the neighbourhood of Het Eilandje, a part of the old port of Antwerp. The project consists of a warehouse that is listed as a protected monument and a new building on the Limaplein. The scale of this square, and that of the six new residential towers on the Kattendijkdok, demands that the new construction is of an appropriate volume and scale.

The monument is composed of eleven identical modules measuring 60 x 11.3 metres. The façades of the building are made of brick and massive wooden walls, between which the goods were stored, create the internal divisions. The wooden walls are anchored in a structure of steel columns, which also support the shed roof.

The starting point for the restoration and the new construction is cultural sustainability, which translates into long-term flexibility in terms of destination, and a contemporary design language. The programme for the warehouse is rather commercial and combined with offices. The new construction contains apartments and commercial spaces on the ground floor, including bars and restaurants. An underground car park for 200 cars is envisaged underneath the monument, together with a large bicycle shed. Inside the warehouse, a flexible interpretation of divisions and functions is possible. Every module receives daylight because of the northern light, and about 60% of these are equipped with a duplex floor. This consists of a wooden structure that is constructed independently of the monument, and which can be viewed as ‘infilling’. In the new building, a structure of wooden trusses will be placed in front of the existing building. The material and the construction methods exude a kind of temporality and, as a result, they are subservient to the brick monument. This wooden structure is encased in a glass façade. The specific shape and lightness of the volume further reinforces the contrast with the warehouse. Just as the warehouse made use of the technology and engineering knowledge of the day, so the new building makes use of modern engineering knowledge and contemporary detailing, and is sustainable.

Study: 2012


Engineering: NP-BRIDGING

Location: Antwerp (B)

Dimensions: 12.500m2 restoration, 2.500m2 new surface

Status: Design

Copyright images: NP-BRIDGING