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Museum Aan de Stroom Completed in Antwerp, Belgium
Posted: Thursday, June 24, 2010 |

The new Museum Aan de Stroom (MAS), designed by Rotterdam-based Neutelings Riedijk Architects as a sixty-meter-high tower landmark in Antwerp, Belgium, has recently been completed. During one week in May, the public could visit the new building on guided tours. Now the MAS will be closed for another year to move the collection and set up the exhibitions. Official opening is foreseen in Spring 2011.

Museum aan de Stroom by Neutelings Riedijk Architects

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Museum aan de Stroom in Antwerp, Belgium by Neutelings Riedijk Architects (Photo: Sarah Blee / © Neutelings Riedijk Architects)

MAS seeks to become a contemporary museum of, for and about the city and the world. Visitors will discover how Antwerp and the world have been indisputably linked with one another for hundreds of years. In it, they will recognize hand prints as the traces left by others among us, and vice versa, they will understand Antwerp’s imprint on the world. The new museum gathers ethnological, maritime, ethnic and art historic collections in a new surprising story, so MAS announces.

Museum aan de Stroom by Neutelings Riedijk Architects

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Evening View East (Photo: Sarah Blee / © Neutelings Riedijk Architects)

Following is a description of the museum we received from Neutelings Riedijk Architects:

THE LOCATION

The new museum is between the old docks in the heart of “Het Eilandje”. This old port area is the major urban renewal project in the center of Antwerp and is developing as a vibrant new city district.

Museum aan de Stroom Opens in Antwerp, Belgium

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Site Plan (Image: Neutelings Riedijk Architects)

THE BUILDING

The MAS is designed as a sixty-meter-high tower. Ten gigantic natural stone boxes are piled up as a physical demonstration of the gravity of history, full of historical objects that our ancestors left behind. It is a storehouse of history in the heart of the old docks.

Each floor of the tower is twisted a quarter turn, so that creates a huge spiral staircase. This spiral space, which is bordered by a wall of corrugated glass, is a public city gallery. A route of escalators carry visitors up from the square to the top of the tower. The spiral tower tells the story of the city, its port, and its inhabitants.

At each floor the visitor can enter the museum hall and go into the history of the dead city, while on his way to top breathtaking panoramas of the living city itself unfolds. At the top of the tower are a restaurant, a party room and a panoramic terrace, where the present is celebrated and the future planned.

Museum aan de Stroom Opens in Antwerp, Belgium

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Floor Plan (Image: Neutelings Riedijk Architects)

Museum aan de Stroom Opens in Antwerp, Belgium

Click above image to enlarge
Floor Plan (Image: Neutelings Riedijk Architects)

Museum aan de Stroom Opens in Antwerp, Belgium

Click above image to enlarge
Floor Plan (Image: Neutelings Riedijk Architects)

Museum aan de Stroom Opens in Antwerp, Belgium

Click above image to enlarge
Floor Plan (Image: Neutelings Riedijk Architects)

MATERIALS AND ORNAMENTS

Façades, floors, walls and ceilings of the tower were completely covered with large slabs of red Indian sandstone hand cleaved, making the image of a monumental stone sculpture. The four colors of the stone slabs based on a computerized pattern are dividend on the façade.

The spiral gallery is lined with a huge curtain of corrugated glass. With its play of light and shadow, transparency and translucency of the undulating glass facade brings a lighthearted counterweight to the gravity of the stone sculpture.

To soften the monumental tower volume a pattern of metal ornaments has been put like a veil over the façade. The ornaments are shaped like hands, the logo of the City of Antwerp. Inside the building, this pattern continued through metal medallions, molded by a design of Tom Hautekiet with a text of Tom Lanoye.

Museum aan de Stroom Opens in Antwerp, Belgium

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Cross Section (Image: Neutelings Riedijk Architects)

Museum aan de Stroom Opens in Antwerp, Belgium

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Cross Section (Image: Neutelings Riedijk Architects)

THE SQUARE

The Museum square at the foot of the tower is an integral part of the design. The square is decorated in the same red stone as the tower and surrounded by pavilions and terraces, as an urban space for events and outdoor exhibitions. The central part of the square is half sunken and forms a framework for a large mosaic of Luc Tuymans.

Museum aan de Stroom Opens in Antwerp, Belgium

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North Facade (Image: Neutelings Riedijk Architects)

Museum aan de Stroom Opens in Antwerp, Belgium

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East Facade (Image: Neutelings Riedijk Architects)

Project Details:
Program: New Development | Museum for City History Antwerp, Museum, Restaurant, Party Room, Pavilions, Plaza
Surface area: 19,557 m2 Floor surface, 11,415 m2 Outdoor construction
Construction costs: € 33.409.000 (including construction of the pavilions and plaza, excluding design, scenography, VAT, fees and indexing)
Location: Hanzestedenplaats | 2000 Antwerp | Belgium
Design: International Competition | 1st Prize | April 2000
Start construction: October 2006
Realization: February 2010
Architectural design: Neutelings Riedijk Architects | Rotterdam | The Netherlands



Comments:
susan murar/sculptor
Stratford, Canada
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
I am a sculptor and am most interested in your beutiful museum. You may see my latest two year project, the first three-dimensional and monumental portrait of the world renown Ojibway Candian artist NORVAL MORRISSEAU changing into "Copper Thunderbird" (size 8'x 6') SEE/ YouTube Video/ Search: morrisseau murar....Congratulations and, "Blessing be" (Morrisseau), Susan Murar/Sculptor, cum laude BA, MFA, OCAD U (l984), also known as the "Woman with Courage".

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