Grand Yard Housing Antwerp
reconversion of an office building to appartements
The existing office building between Generaal Lemanstraat and Karel Oomsstraat will make way for a new strategically located residential site in Antwerp. The existing corner facade, an iconic sight for drivers coming from Brussels, will remain a charismatic volume in the new configuration. For this site, POLO Architects realised a contemporary inner-city residential community with a wide range of housing types.
The project is divided into three figures: a robust facade along Generaal Lemanstraat, a finer granularity in the residential Doornelei with a passage to the inner area and an accentuated volume within the green inner area. The design includes new structures on Doornelei and Generaal Lemanstraat. Through their facade architecture and used materials, the volumes distinguish themselves as separate entities, albeit within a powerfully balanced ensemble. The existing building on Karel Oomsstraat will be extended and equipped with a new accentuated corner.
The sleek, horizontally articulated facade architecture, inspired by the modernist Streamline Moderne building style, is perfectly suited for the iconic corner building. The rounded corner engages in dialogue with the corner buildings across the street around the intersection and gives the building a soft and comfortable appeal.
All of the existing outdoor space will be maintained. The multiple tall broad-leaved trees turn this serene and green inner area into a peaceful oasis within the city. The residential units include large terraces overlooking the green garden or south-facing walled terraces on the street side. The free-standing building on Karel Oomsstraat is converted into a series of contemporary park flats; rooftop terraces with various orientations will overlook the city's rooftops.
Because of its sober and diversified materialisation, the project is divided into various entities with different building heights and facades. In addition, each entity has a different style of terraces and parapets. To prevent the building from heating up, the natural stone surface and the facade masonry have light colours. The colour scheme variations of the various facade stones remain limited in order to obtain a modest differentiation, resulting in a homogeneous ensemble of structures with a separate identity.
Antonissen Development Group