Antwerp Nieuw Zuid is a private project in the public interest that includes about 2000 new residences, schools, day-care centres, a sports centre, a service centre and a large park, to respond to the expected population growth in the coming 15 years. The master plan for the sustainable residential area that connects with the city centre has been designed in 2011 by the Milanese Studio Associato Secchi-Viganò.
The Brussels architectural firm BRUT architecture and urban design, in collaboration with the Danish C.F. Møller architects, has won the architectural competition for one of the high-rise developments in this ‘Nieuw Zuid’ neighbourhood Antwerp urban development, located along the Scheldt and to the south of the historic centre.
Redefining the residential tower as a stacked community.
As a design firm, BRUT is firmly convinced of the important added value that the combination of well-considered architecture, urban planning vision and social relevance brings to a project. For this project, they therefore joined forces with the experienced architects of C.F. Møller, one of the oldest, largest and most innovative architectural firm in Scandinavia. In their draft design they redefined the residential tower as a stacked community. Therefore the tower provides a wide variety of housing types to address very diverse residents. There are small flats for young people, lofts for young two-income couples, large family residences, flats adapted for older people, and more innovative duplex residences.
The master plan for Nieuw Zuid determined the contour and height of the tower. By dealing efficiently with the available space, more room was left within the same volume for the individual living areas, and an additional communal aspect could moreover be incorporated, with space for meetings and community activities. The tower has 24 floors and 15,000 m² of floor space distributed over 150 residences, offices, commercial spaces and communal areas. The designers also added outdoor spaces in the form of balconies, winter gardens and roof terraces.
Vertical city living
The high-rise is distinguished by a pattern of levels that is draped around the volume like a veil. This light structure makes the distribution and grouping of the various housing types visible. Within each level, flats are grouped in a collective entity that connects to the terrace areas. The residences are consistently grouped like vertical mini-communities. On the end elevations, glass winter gardens have been designed to serve as green outdoor living areas that can be closed off. The draft design also proposes various communal areas, a bicycle repair area, and a common laundry room at the foot of the tower. A shared double-height space for the residents connects to the roof garden atop the low-rise portion, while a green triplex tower room guarantees spectacular panoramas over Antwerp and the Scheldt.