A creative oasis with many years of history and identity based on the strong economic activity and craftsmanship
The power of change
Stuivenberg; a neighbourhood enjoying rapid growth, with all the expected challenges and opportunities, too many opportunities, to ignore. A site with many years of history and identity based on the strong economic activity of beer and craftsmanship and on the Martin family, who is looking with pride for a partner to breathe new life into this site that they can then all be proud of… BPI & LIFE ended up at the top of the list, and they are both convinced that they can make all the difference for the entire neighbourhood and create the connection to Spoor Noord!
A small, creative oasis where people can get together and where work, relaxation and living are combined, resulting in a positive aura for the whole neighbourhood. A good reason to cycle into the neighbourhood within a few years instead of standing in Park Spoor Noord, asking from a safe distance, what could ever be realised on that spot…
One of the most important aspects of the DNA of BPI & LIFE is undoubtedly their critical attitude and their continuous need to question and reinvent themselves.
In that context, they joined forces with BOLD to think, on the one hand, about how people today live in urban areas and, on the other hand, about the opportunities we see for the urban life of the future in cities that are becoming increasingly more liveable yet have different demographics and family constellations than they did in the past. Subtle interventions or adjustments that make life a bit more co-life, or cooperative, in a world where segregation and isolation may well be some of the greatest societal challenges of the day.
The margarine factory will become a place where people will want to purposefully stand still for a moment – to do the laundry, read a book, have a chat or let the kids play together with the other kids in the neighbourhood on an overcast, Belgian day.
A furnished living area and kitchen, where the residents can cook together or that they can rent out to organise a family festivity.
Income for the communal property can even be generated by renting the space to third parties for exhibitions or events, so that the cost of living can be controlled, creating greater financial freedom for living life. The bridgeway is used as a means of activation for the centrally located, enclosed terrace and the facade. It is combined with terraces which will become more like hanging gardens, creating the feeling of a vertical neighbourhood and truly sun-filled residences.
And finally, the interior area will become a sort of collective front garden, onto which the front doors of the surrounding apartments will open. This way, this area functions as a type of transition zone between private and public, a genuine semi-private green space that forms the transition from city life to your own
A departure from the existing identity and quality. The inspiring story of the Martin family, who originally chose Antwerp for its exceptional location and water quality, invites us to create a new beating heart of activities in the footsteps of history. The connection with the zoo, the comic strips, the existing patrimony and the many stories creates the basis for the realisation of a unique mixed development for the next 100 years.
The Martin family chose resolutely to perpetuate the site for the coming decades and would also like to develop a microbrewery there, guaranteeing their presence on this location in Antwerp and further promoting this heritage site. A building block that opens itself to the neighbourhood and all its challenges generates new stimulus and that creates a destination for diverse groups of people of all ages, backgrounds and convictions.
A project that attracts open-minded people who, in diversity, tend to see opportunities instead of obstacles. When translating this ambition, an attempt was made to achieve a maximum of various residential typologies, for the simple reason that we are all different.
These include urban dwellings, concept studios, friends’ apartments, bridgeway apartments, duplex apartments and penthouses – our ambition is to be a reflection of the unique mix of our society.
A warehouse filled with creative companies who have purposely located their businesses in an up-and-coming neighbourhood. That is the power of this place. Many businesses look for locations with a soul, although these places are getting more and more difficult to find since many buildings with soul are demolished or converted into residential projects.
BPI & LIFE believe in the value of large plateaus in the dense, urban residential fabric. In many cases, economic activity is the catalyst of life in former, mono-functional residential areas. The complementarity of various functions creates life at all hours of the day, every day of the week, creating, in its wake, social controls.
Trades, creative professions and other supporting professions can be drawn in and will result in an interesting melting pot of activity. The sky lounge and rooftop terrace, with its unique views of Antwerp, invite us to get to know one another and to inspire one another during meetings, lunches or after work while watching the sunset.