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Museum aan de Stroom Antwerp Architecture

MAS Building: New Belgian Architecture design by Neutelings Riedijk Architects

Design : Neutelings Riedijk Architects

MAS I Museum aan de Stroom Antwerp
photo : Sarah Blee © Neutelings Riedijk Architects

14 Apr 2011

MAS I Museum aan de Stroom Antwerp Building

The location
The MAS | Museum aan de Stroom stands between the old docks in the centre of the Eilandje. This old harbour area is the most important city renovation project in the centre of Antwerp and is in full development as a new dazzling city district.

The building
The MAS was designed as a sixty-meter high tower. Ten gigantic natural stone trunks are piled up as a physical demonstration of the heaviness of history, full of historical objects that are the legacy of our ancestors. It is a storehouse of stacked history in the middle of the old harbour docks. Every storey of the tower has been rotated a quarter turn, creating a gigantic spiral staircase. This spiral space, in which a facade of corrugated glass is inserted, forms a public city gallery.

The spiral route
A route of escalators leads the visitors from the square up to the top of the tower. The story of the city, its harbour and inhabitants is told in the spiral tower. Visitors can enter a museum hall on every level and reflect on the history of the dead city, while on the way up breath-taking panoramas unfold above the living city. The top of the tower accommodates a restaurant, a party room and a panoramic terrace, where the present is celebrated and the future is planned.

The facades
Facades, floors, walls and ceilings of the tower are entirely covered with large panels of hand-cut red Indian sandstone, evoking the image of a monumental stone sculpture. The four-colour variation of the natural stone panels has been distributed over the facade on the basis of a computer-generated pattern. The spiral gallery is finished with a gigantic curtain of corrugated glass. Its play of light and shadow, of transparency and translucence turns this corrugated glass facade into a light counterweight to the heavy stone sculpture.

The ornaments
In order to soften the monumental tower volume, a pattern of metal ornaments has been attached to the facade as a veil. The ornaments have the shape of hands, the symbol of the City of Antwerp. This pattern is continued inside the building by means of metal medallions, cast according to a design by Tom Hautekiet with a text by Tom Lanoye.

The plaza
The museum square at the base of the tower is an integral part of the design. The square has been designed in the same red natural stone as the tower and is surrounded by pavilions and terraces as an urban area for events and open-air exhibits. The central part of the square is sunken and forms a framework for the large mosaic by artist Luc Tuymans.

Museum aan de Stroom image / information from Neutelings Riedijk Architects

Museum aan de Stroom, Belgium – Building Information


Museum for City History Antwerp
Museum, Restaurant, Party Room, Pavilions, Plaza

Surface area:
19.500 sqm Gross floor surface
11.500 sqm Outdoor public areas

Construction costs:
€ 33.500.000 (including construction of pavilions and plaza, excluding interior, scenography, VAT, fees and indexing)

Location: Hanzestedenplaats, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
Principal: City of Antwerp in cooperation with AG Vespa
Design: International Competition, 1st Prize, Apr 2000
Start construction: Oct 2006
Realisation: Feb 2010


Architectural design: Neutelings Riedijk Architects, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Structural design: Bureau Bouwtechniek, Antwerp, Belgium
Constructive design: ABT België, Antwerp, Belgium
Building physics: Peutz bv ingenieuze adviseurs, Mook, The Netherlands
Installation design: Marcq & Roba, Brussels, Belgium
Fire safety: IFSET, Asse, Belgium


Medallions: Tom Lanoye (text) and Tom Hautekiet (design), Antwerp, Belgium
Plaza mosaic: Luc Tuymans, Antwerp, Belgium


THV MAS, Antwerp (Interbuild, Willemen, Cordeel)


Photography building: Sarah Blee, Antwerp and Scagliola/Brakkee, Rotterdam
Copyrights photography: Neutelings Riedijk Architects

1 Jun 2010

MAS I Museum aan de Stroom


Design: Neutelings Riedijk Architects

MAS I Museum aan de Stroom will not be opened officially until the 17th of May 2011. The building is not accessible to the public until that date.

Museum aan de Stroom
photo : Sarah Blee © Neutelings Riedijk Architects

There will be some guided tours planned for the public this month, more information can be found on the MAS website, From 22 to 26 May you get the chance to visit the MAS building (on request) and see the city through the MAS promenade through guided tours.

Antwerp city council elected to build MAS back in 1998.

Museum aan de Stroom image / information from Neutelings Riedijk Architects

Neutelings Riedijk

Location: Hanzestedenplaats, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium, Europe

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