Apartments, Antwerp, 2013-2017
The project is realized on the corner of Provinciestraat and Ploegstraat, on the edge of the 19th century belt. The adjacent properties count the Antwerp Zoo, the 'Giraffe Square', a massive apartment block and a number of stately homes. In the recent past, a gas station stood on the premises, which has now been demolished. The building is located at the head of an urban block, and works as a cornerstone of this building block. The facade is composed using a uniform and homogeneous fenestration, which takes on the proportions of the surrounding buildings, regardless of the underlying program (classical treatment of the facade surface). In the second line, however, the window openings matched to the interior and the program (modernist treatment of the facade surface). The tension between the two different approaches of the outer and inner surfaces of the exterior walls determines the design of the facade and is materialized by metal claddings in white. The facade material itself is smooth, white plasterwork. The head of the building features a terrace for each apartment. These are irregularly stacked on top of each other, the partial overlap allowing visual (social) contact between the residents. In addition, these terraces provide a frivolous and poetic detail, that contributes to visual quality from the 'Giraffe Square' and from the surrounding area.