The first partial project includes the redevelopment and reconversion of the dock areas, as well as the first building block of the industrial grid bordered by the Baelskaai and the Fortstraat. On this street corner, one of the high-building sections of the site will be constructed: the ‘Baelskaai 12’ tower is a 14-storey residence with 49 apartments. The architecture differs to that of the typical coastal buildings, but still fits in harmoniously with the surrounds.
The composition and size of the lower floors of the tower façade ensure a tranquil dialogue with the materials and architecture planned for future, neighbouring buildings. The tower will offer increasingly more free space in its higher storeys: it is broader higher up than it is at the street level. This allows a certain dynamic to be created above, with a noticeable sculptural effect as a result. Based on this concept, use will be made of the upper storeys to create a large variation in the type of apartments that can be incorporated.
Although the dynamic construction for the façade is already an architectural high point in itself, the two swimming pools on levels 11 and 14 are genuine world firsts. Elsewhere in the world, swimming pools often exist in the plans alone, while for Baelskaai 12, they are being created in reality. The structure of the swimming pools overhangs the façade and is a combination of cement walls and post-tensioned floor plates. The overhang will be made of cement walls that are aligned between the post-tension floor plates that move the pole of the structure.
The façade will be made of polished white architectonic cement, giving a sustainably fresh colour to the streetscape. The cement combines the previously described load-bearing aspect of the construction with added architectural value and an aesthetically pleasing finish: a reflective, high-gloss effect will be attained for the finish by using increasingly fine grindstones to polish the elements. This technique is also used by people working with dimension stone. The architectural decorative cement strengthens the sculptural effect and turns the tower into a genuine eye-catcher. Thanks to the material, the desired robustness and finer points of the presence go together for a truly perfect effect. Above, the decorative cement is perfect for creating a play in the façades. From the rear, across the sides and to the front, there is a gradient in the number of panels to be seen. This way, the building opens itself more and more from back to front. As such, the architectonic cement supports the architecture, both literally and figuratively.
This first tower is an icon project to give the neighbourhood a new boost and to serve as impetus for the whole area. The goal is to make a statement about this exceptional location and, in doing so, to take a step forwards in the formation of the Oosteroever area as a valuable part of the city. The water is no longer the border of the city, but the centre of a new and highly attractive neighbourhood.