The Antwerp Tower is a skyscraper in the center of Antwerp, which itself is currently being renovated from an office tower to a building with 241 luxury apartments, based off a design by WAA. The tower is part of a larger renovation of the area directly around its base–the Keyserlei, which is the main pedestrian avenue that leads from Antwerp’s central train station–into the center of the city.
The design of the Antwerp Tower entails extending the width of the marquise-diamond-like floorpan, increasing its height to 100 m, and demolishing and repurposing the space directly between the opera house and the tower–to create a four story plinth at the tower’s base, for retail and office, with a roof terrace restaurant atop for overlooking the city below.
The building, which originally housed offices and retail, was constructed in the early 1970’s, and is defined by its diamond-shaped floorpan. Its redesign will see the diamond-shaped footprint of the tower atop the plinth extended beyond its current dimensions, maximizing living space for future residents. In order to create living units largely free of columns, the original structure has been partly replaced by an alternating structural system of load bearing walls and columns.
Each floor contains 6 to 14 units, each with its own loggia. Units range in size, from 40-120 m2, with penthouses from 180-300 m2, located on upper floors.
A façade system of polished concrete components will compose the building’s new facade; they are enormous in scale, up to 9 m wide, and will minimize visual patterning on the facade, when seen from afar or at street-level. The same material extends to the building’s entrance lobby and the internal walls and ceilings of each loggia. Together with seamless windows in the units’ living spaces, and glass balustrades that front each loggia, the components’ scale balances with adjacent opera house’s abundant ornamentation.
At ground level, retail is situated on the tower’s southern façade, along a pedestrian-only shopping street, while the main entrance for residents and visitors to the restaurant, offices, and wellness areas, is along the western façade, next to the opera’s main entrance. The lobby, within the plinth, is lit by natural daylight, by way of a void that extends through and up to the roof terrace above. Centrally located a mere 300 m from the city’s central train station, the redesigned Antwerp Tower will impart a 24-hour energy within this highly trafficked section of the city, while simultaneously creating a live-work-play destination–for the city’s residents and visitors alike.