Antwerp, Belgium



Client: City of Antwerp in cooperation with AG Vespa

Completion Date: February 2010

Program: A ten-story, 210,510-square-foot museum of the city of Antwerp, with exhibition galleries, a restaurant, an event space, and a panoramic terrace, as well as a plaza that includes a museum shop and a mosaic by Luc Tuymans. The project is part of the renewal of the city's once-busy harbor district, which now includes residential towers, the city archive, and the ballet.

Design Concept and Solution: The architects wanted to design a monument to Antwerp's history while spotlighting the city in its present form. Shaping the museum like a monolithic sculpture, they cantilevered all ten stories and rotated each of them a quarter turn, like steps in a spiral staircase. To extend the sculptural metaphor they selected a tactile cladding—red sandstone from India, hand-cut and unpolished—and countered its heft with a facade of corrugated glass that spans the gaps created by the cantilevers. The glass-and-sandstone facade forms a kind of vertical gallery with views overlooking the city. Visitors ascending the gallery on escalators can cycle through a short exhibition telling the story of Antwerp; those who venture into the heart of the museum receive the full version as they pass through a series of black-box rooms featuring exhibits and audiovisual displays.

Total construction cost: € 33.4 million

Neutelings Riedijk Architects
P.O. Box 527
3000 AM Rotterdam
The Netherlands
Phone +31 (0)10 404 66 77
Fax +31 (0)10 414 27 12


City of Antwerp in cooperation with AG Vespa

Neutelings Riedijk Architects
P.O. Box 527
3000 AM Rotterdam
The Netherlands
Phone +31 (0)10 404 66 77
Fax +31 (0)10 414 27 12

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
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 International Fire Safety Engineering Technology | Asse | Belgium

Medallions: Tom Lanoye (text) and Tom Hautekiet (design) | Berchem | Belgium

Plaza mosaic: Luc Tuymans | Antwerp | Belgium

General contractor:
THV MAS | Antwerp
Cordeel (
Interbuild (
Willemen (

Photographer(s): Sarah Blee , Scagliola/Brakkee



Nature stone: BTA (
Gillet – Loveld (

Curved glass: Sunglass (

Precast architecture concrete: Prefadim (

Concrete cast on site: Casais (

Foundation: Franki (

Wooden flooring: Rudy de Keyser Wood Industry (

Coraco, Gielissen Neos (
Labo Potteau (
L&Z (
ATM Maaseik (

Heating / cooling: Imtech (

Electricity: Evip (

Sanitary: de Bie & Veba (

Lifts: Coopman (

Escalator: Kone (