Public Space in Antwerp’s Slaughterhouse Site

PosadMaxwan, together with Sweco Belgium and LOLA Landscape Architects, has won the design competition for the public space of the so-called ‘Slaughterhouse site’ in Antwerp. This marks the start of a new phase of development in the area. The closure of Antwerp’s urban slaughterhouse has made the current destination of the surrounding area obsolete. The city has therefore drawn up a masterplan in conjunction with the private owners of the Slaughterhouse Site, Triple Living, which was approved in 2017. AG VESPA is coordinating the redevelopment.

The city has the ambition to redevelop the district consisting of Slachthuissite - Noordschippersdok - Lobroekdok in the Damwijk, in the north of the Antwerp district. The aim is to realise an urban project with the main purpose of living, interwoven with services, recreation and business. This qualitative redevelopment of the Slaughterhouse Site will boost the entire Damwijk.

The transformation is a response to the need for urban densification. But densification is only possible in combination with sufficient green public space and facilities. The vision for the design of the public domain is based on a thorough analysis of the requested programme of requirements. In addition to footpaths, roads and parking lots, the programme of requirements also includes a large sports and game programme and above-ground water buffering. For an attractive, cohesive and characterful public space, it is important to create a balance between the various programme components in our vision, with sufficient unprogrammed space available for flexible use.

The choices made for the sports and game programme and underground water management lead to maximally usable, maximally naturally green and maximally connected public space. The Kalverpad is extended into the park and connects to the Oude Kalverstraat. The rows of trees in the Oude Kalverstraat and the trees in the park are extended to Lobroekplein, which is therefore surrounded by trees. This creates a ‘neighbourhood square under the trees’, a green edge with terrace space and a large open square area for neighbourhood events.