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FIRST LOOK

Stephen Taylor Architects completes Antwerp dockside apartment block

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Arranged over five levels and comprising a mix of 27 units, the development is given character by expressive brick and concrete detailing 

The corner-block residential building at Cadix in Antwerp comprises a mix of 27 triplex, duplex and single-level apartments. It was commissioned in 2015 by the housing association Woonhaven Antwerpen following a competition won in 2014 in collaboration with Dutch practice Happel Cornelisse Verhoeven.

The brief was for two apartment buildings at opposite corners of an urban block in the old dock area of Antwerp, part of the slow urbanism strategy set out for the redevelopment of Het Eilandje. The masterplan was instigated by then city architect Kristiaan Borret and conceived by Manuel de Sola-Morales. Working with technical architect Bureau Bouwtechniek, Stephen Taylor Architects developed the proposal for the south-west corner block while Happel Cornelisse Verhoeven designed the north-east corner block.

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Cadix Housing by Stephen Taylor Architects

The building, located at the junction of Indiestraat and Bombaystraat, is L-shaped in volume and completes the corner of the urban block. The corner itself is celebrated in cut-back and exuberant concrete detailing, while at rear, a courtyard space is formed.

Its two wings are different in aspect and unit mix. While the western wing accommodates a series of three-storey houses under two-storey maisonettes, the southern wing is made up of a variety of two and three bedroom dual-aspect apartments. 

The front entrances to the houses are at street level, while those for all the other units are accessed off wide, shared-access decks above. Each house has a double-height living area facing its own garden and the upper floor units give on to generous balconies and terraces.

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Cadix Housing by Stephen Taylor Architects

Architect’s view

An interest in civility and architectural openness is formally expressed at the building’s corner which steps back at the lower level, offering a new place for gathering in the city. Brick and precast concrete elements are combined to create a building that aims at evoking a sense of permanence and solidity while creating continuity in the city’s fabric. The robust masonry volume is softened with the colouring of the aluminium window frames and the fine detailing of the architectural metalwork.

Project data

Start on site October 2015
Completion April 2018
Gross internal floor area 2,550m²
Gross (internal + external) floor area 3,380m²
Form of contract or procurement route Traditional
Construction cost €3.8 million
Construction cost per m2 €1,490
Architect Stephen Taylor Architects
Executive architect Bureau Bouwtechniek
Client Woonhaven Antwerpen / AG KOP (daycare)
Structural engineer Studiebureau Chalybs
M&E consultant Studiebureel Heedfeld
Energy and environmental consultant Jan Opdeweegh
CDM coordinator Rudi Veelaert
Main contractor Belemco
CAD software used Vectorworks

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