Right in the middle of one of the cosiest residential neighbourhoods that Antwerp has so many of, just a stone’s throw from Berchem station, there is a gem hidden away in the interior space – 3.600m² of factory halls with gorgeous authentic elements, where candy has been produced since 1919.
Marshmallow candies in the shape of the Virgin Mary, chocolate figurines and other Belgian classics were poured into moulds here, ready to bring a smile to the faces of many childeren (and adults).
When candy manufacturer Eurosweets had no choice in 2012 but to close its doors, they hoped to find a new owner who would value the beauty of this gem as much as they did.
LIFE succeeded in purchasing the complex in 2017 and, with respect for the existing quality, developed a mixed residential/working project. Four row houses and fifteen beautiful apartments with west-facing terraces, on the one hand, and a unique inner-city hub with offices and workshop areas in a unique environment for companies, on the other, linked by a peaceful, green interior space.
On the side of Eikelstraat, LIFE remains faithful to the existing structure of the hall, while on the General Drubbelstraat side, the factory makes way for a new apartment building that in its architectural appearance and construction is a nod to the past.
The building is finished with high-quality materials that ensure a high sustainability factor. A well-insulated building shell, the installation of solar panels, heat pumps and underfloor heating ensure limited heat loss, which will benefit one’s energy bill.
This LIFE project is the ultimate proof that the future of the city consists of densification projects on which living and working, old and new go hand in hand, leading to a unique quality of life for the urban dweller of the future.