Sitting on the dock of the bay – Kattendijkdok Antwerp
The Westkaai project is part one of an urban expansion project instigated by the city of Antwerp with three pairs of residential towers emerging with exceptional views over the historic city, the MAS museum and the dry docks with the new Port House. The master plan dictaded a vertical structure, similar to the typical warehouses that mark the industrial area, in combination with an underground car park, giving the area around the towers to the public realm.
To develop the towers, three internationally reknowned architects were approached by the developer: Diener & Diener Architekten, David Chipperfield Architects and Gigon/Guyer. eld was asked to be the ‘producer’ on three of the towers, with the first pair designed by Diener & Diener Architects. The towers along the southern section of the harbor basin have a height of 56m and are placed diagonally opposite each other. What makes them so visibly remarkable is the façade construction. The structured glass skin in combination with the underlying gold and champagne-colored aluminum panels exude a green glow. Depending on the play of light, they change color and appearance. The panels also reflect the water, harmoniously linking the building and its location.
Tower design follows a certain set of specific rules and criteria, it happens to be one of our specialities.
Challenge & solutions
From the earliest project stage, the developer had his mind set on engaging a strong local partner to follow up the whole process of The Westkaai. eld participated in every step, from the preliminal concept and competition to the final completion of the first three towers. The biggest challenge was to design an adequate floor plan. The plan of Kattendijkdok Westkaai 41&51 is rectangular and has a surface of 450 m². Each tower consists of 16 levels and two underground parking floors. The ingenuity of the design lies in the different floor layouts / modules alternately stacked on each other, referencing to the heterogeneity of the neighborhood and its inhabitants.
Each apartments has a corner orientation which gives all apartments multiple views. The terraces on the corner have an openable windshield to guarantee their comfort under all weather conditions.