• 01. Situation model of the new introverted expansion of the urban fabric in Antwerp.

  • 02. The morphological plan of Antwerp shows the introverted expansions within both the 16th and 19th century city walls.

  • 03. The projects within the building blocks have a wide range in scale and function. From houses to apartment buildings and from churches to a military hospital.

  • 04. A selection of introverted expansions in the urban fabric of Antwerp.

  • 05. The Handelsbeurs: the schemes over time clearly show the morphological transformation of the block in relation to its new inner public function.

  • 06. The richly decorated interior of the Handelsbeurs lies as a hidden treasure within the building block.

  • 07. The proposed infill of the building in the Diamant district defines a sequence of public spaces, each with their own character.

  • 08. The ground floor houses a variety of public functions for the close neighborhood.

  • 09. From the first floor and above the plan houses apartments, offices and hotel rooms.

  • 10. One of the squares is defined by a hotel with a double high multifunctional plinth and hotel rooms above. The changing rhythm in the façade clearly expresses the stacking of the functions behind.

  • 11. The sequence of public spaces are linked by a number of passages.

  • 12. The passages are no anonymous corridors, but open interior spaces with addresses around

  • 13. The central and biggest square is surrounded by a continuous residential block.

  • 14. The buildings around this square have a public plinth for small shops and three stories of housing on top.

  • 15. Special attention was payed to the definition of the entrances of the houses and public functions and the familiarity between them.

  • 16. The facade model shows the public plinth -with an alternating rhythm of public and residential entrances- and apartments on the upper floors.

The introverted expansion of the urban fabric in Antwerp

Antwerp has a variety of utilitarian and residential projects that have nested in the hidden building block interiors. The interiors provided necessary space for the growing city, which was trapped within a tight city wall. In addition, they offered space for public functions that, due to a lack of building land directly on the street, wanted to establish themselves centrally in the city (Handelsbeurs 1531).

With a secondary network of public spaces, this graduation project opens up a vacant block interior in the Diamond district. This creates space to meet the increasing demand for central construction sites in the city.