Substantial revaluation for the Kievitplein and surroundings
Last year Antwerp stood out with a share of 47% of the over 200,000 m² of take-up of the Flemish office market. (JLL). The star of the show was De Persgroep, an international media company active in Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark, which signed for 8,000 m² in the Kievit district in December, just to the south of Antwerp Central Station.
In July 2016, the City of Antwerp, via AG VESPA, the autonomous communal body for real estate in Antwerp, launched a competition for the purchase of a 1,900 m² plot with a value of 5,350,000 Euros. The plans of Crepain Binst Architecture for De Persgroep Publishing took the honours in front of two other candidates: Walloon publicly quoted developer Atenor (with a design by Neutelings Riedijk) and the well recognised Christine RDBM Architects bureau (with their own design).
De Persgroep is to relocate the headquarters of its Belgian publishing activities to the Antwerp Kievitplein, from its current temporary headquarters in Kobbegem. Antwerp is far better positioned to enable communications with various international locations, for example with the Dutch premises in Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Another good reason for choosing Antwerp is the location close to the Central Station which makes the use of public transport an appealing proposition for employees, along with the presence of universities and the blooming start-up scene, which both fit in with the growth ambitions of the media company.
Open and flexible working environment
The design of Crepain Binst Architecture won the approval of the jury because of the exceptional character of the ground Floor. Architectural bureau Crepain Binst have designed a large and transparent base unit, whose shape is inspired by the neighbouring historical railway installations. The ground floor will be accessible to the public and includes a mezzanine with a brasserie-restaurant, coffee corners, a newspaper kiosk and various media facilities which will show the 24-hour, 7-day economy of De Persgroep Publishing to the visitors. The public aspect is also set to give a new stimulus to the Kievit district, which has so far been in need of further development.
The developers have planned to go even further with this building, by including four spacious and accessible roof gardens, contributing to a pleasant work/life environment for the hundreds of employees and visitors. To crown all this, the plans also include a gazebo which will provide a 360° panoramic view over the city and the station district.
The architects have designed the facades so that from whichever angle you look at the building, they have an equal degree of importance, one to the other. For the construction, sustainable and contemporary materials have been selected, which emphasise the international character of De Persgroep.
Construction is scheduled to start in the second half of 2017, and the personnel should be able to move in during the summer of 2019.