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Comments (1) Posted 06.25.09 | PERMALINK | PRINT

Mark Lamster

MAS Macho


mas1 mas2

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.

hessen
The Hessen warehouse

shop1

The Shop, an old port industrial building slated for reuse

eilandje

Some of the new towers in this area

oudan


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.

boeren1

boeren2


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.
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I have just recently visited Antwerp and I must admit that I was really impressed by the contemporary architectural scene there... Especially the MAS by Neutelings Riedijk and the Kattendijkdok residential buildings by Diener & Diener are absolutely worth visiting... and as far as Renaat Braem's oeuvre, his more "organic" buildings are also worth looking at...

SK
Spyridon Kaprinis
02.16.11 at 03:17


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Lamster is the architecture critic of the Dallas Morning News and a professor at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Architecture. A contributing editor to Architectural Review, he is currently at work on his third book, a biography of the late architect Philip Johnson. Follow: @marklamster.
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