Procedure Architecture competition
Client City Antwerp / warmte@Zuid
Surface 850 m2
Date 2013 – 2019
The city of Antwerp is expanding with a new CO2-low residential and business district. The desire is to have the communal heat plant play an important communicative role. The design brief focuses on the design of a 50-metre-high chimney that will express this ecological ideal.
By integrating it into the embankment between the park and the motorway, the thermal power station combines the advantages of the double-sided location. On the park side, the building plays its hospitable role as a visitor centre with observation tower, while on the motorway side it can take on its function undisturbed as a smooth-running machine. The structure that provides the necessary stability for the chimneys of the boilers is clad with steel plates. The plates are bent on their diagonal. The buckling makes the thin plates stiffer and stronger, as is the case with technical air ducts. Material and shape give the tower a technical appearance.
From the motorway side, the tower can be seen with its base. The basic form is reminiscent of the archaic fireplace. From the park, the lines of the paths that cut through the slope are continued in the angular ridges of the tower volume. The tower becomes a landscape element, like part of a mountain or rock face, as in the sixteenth-century paintings by Joachim Patinir. Landscape, building, technique and structure merge into one image.