Text description provided by the architects. The building is situated on the corner of Zegelstraat and Turnhoutsebaan, the latter being a major access road to the city of Antwerp. It comprises a mixed programme with offices for district police, residences and the entrance to a metro station.
The metro station greatly reduces the possibility of bringing down loads on the corner of the site, a fact which defines the project’s tectonic form. The plinth – of the same height as the neighbouring buildings – comprises a Vierendeel beam which spans the metro station and distributes the load of the tower volume located on the corner.
The entrance to the metro station, and the police station are located beneath and in-between the Vierendeel beam. The police station is spread over the ground floor and first floor. The Vierendeel beam on the corner is located behind the façade and also provides for a circulation zone within the station. The Vierendeel beam is positioned slightly back from the façade. This not only results in a free span on the ground floor but also serves to distribute the load from the apartments located above it.
The façade is a light shell made of aluminium which tempers the support structure’s exuberant character
while lending the building a relaxed and almost classical articulation. The entrances to the metro station, and the district police station are located beneath and in-between the Vierendeel beam, while the residences are situated in the superstructure. An apartment in the superstructure. The central sanitary core and rhythm of the façades allow for a free layout. The simple materials used give expression to the structure of the building. The central staircase employs robust materials with nonetheless refined details. A skylight allows for a deep penetration of natural light.
There are three apartments located on the second floor. Two of these feature patios cut from the volume to create outdoor spaces that are sheltered from the very busy surrounding area. The superstructure consists of a miniature tower comprising one apartment per floor. The plan is organised around a central core which ensures a flexible layout.