Behold the Museum aan de stroom (MAS
), Antwerp's new municipal history museum. The building, designed by the Dutch architects Neutelings Riedijk, is due to open late next year. Certainly it's dramatic; a spiraling diagram for itself that will give visitors walking its long ramp privileged views of the city in all directions. It sits on a Napoleonic-era dock in a formerly abandoned port/industrial quarter that has been reintegrated into the city over the last decade, a process still ongoing. (This was the subject of my recent story
on Antwerp's reinvention, for Metropolis.) During its sixteenth-century heyday, Antwerp was the financial capital of northern Europe, and a great international port city, so the location of the museum is fitting. Appropriately enough, the materials to build it come from all over the globe: red stone from Rajastan, glass from Germany, wood flooring from Louisiana. During construction, the museum staff is actually working out of the landmark sixteenth century warehouse of the Hessen trade federation. The titular "stream" is actually the Scheldt river, which connects the city to the North Sea. A few more images after the jump.
The Hessen warehouse
The Shop, an old port industrial building slated for reuse
Some of the new towers in this area
Antwerp has a strong tradition of modern towers. The Oudan, the police HQ, is a masterpiece of brutal design, even if there are many in the city who hate it. The architect was Renaat Braem.
The tallest building in the city center is the art moderne KBC Tower, known to all as the Boerentoren (farmer's tower, so named for the trade group that was its first tenant). Antwerp's Rockefeller Center, designed by Jan van Hoenacker, opened in 1932.