Studio Associato Bernardo Secchi Paola Viganò

Architecture | Urbanism | Landscape

Theatreplein, Antwerp - international competition
[first prize]


client: city of Antwerp
program: public space
date: 2004-2008 realized
consultant: Dirk Jaspaert, Marc de Kooning (BAS), Dries Beys (ARA)


photography: Teresa Cos
award: Medaglia d’Oro all’Architettura Italiana, progetto selezionato - cultura e tempolibero, Milan, 2009
  Thuis in de stad, as the best public space in Belgium, 2008

Today, the Theater Square in Antwerp is a boundless space, where it is difficult to calculate the distances and to find one's bearings: a space without limits. A huge space, even if disproportional, should not be necessarily filled up and built; it should be correctly interpreted in the visible and invisible measurements which are usually the product of the site's history and of the different choices taken on it.
The project articulates the square in 4 major spaces: the garden in the south part, a covered square in the north part, the mall at the west side all along the Oudewaart square and an equipped space at the east along the Meis street.
The gardens become an area for infiltration of rain water. Between the garden, conceived as a playground, and the façade of the cafés and bars a platform in wood becomes a multifunctional space.
The design of the square, in colored concrete, eliminates all the existing barriers: accessible to everybody, the square becomes a whole surface, 2% of ramp, which links the entry of the theater to the very nearby boulevards. The margins of the square have a different design according to their character: along the Maria Pijpelincx street, Graanmarkt and Oud Waart square the existing pavement and trees were maintained; along the Meis street the entry at the underground parking was reorganized, along with the bicycle parking and the bus stop.
A part of the square is covered: the cover, supported by a very slim steel colonnade, makes the space comfortable for the weekly market. The existing security stairs are demolished and substituted  by new ones which creates a virtual façade of the covered space towards the Meis street.


Relevant textual alternative to the image

studio 04

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