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Elisabeth Hall


Architects: SimpsonHaugh // Project size: 29.085 m² GFA // Completion: 2016 // Awards: Project of the Year Award 2018 (MSA), Community Award 2018 (MSA) - Built Project

The Elisabeth Hall is beautifully located on the historic Astridplein in the centre of Antwerp. The conference complex, to which the Elisabeth Hall is attached, has a number of special halls such as the Marble, Darwin or Verlat Hall. The Elisabeth Hall also had its charm, but was technically outdated. The acoustics were mediocre, but the technical building equipment was also out of date.

After initially investigating whether the hall could be retained, it was concluded, after determining the acoustic, logistical and financial framework conditions, that only a new building would meet the requirements. To create space for improvements, the confusing system of corridors in the entrance hall was dismantled. This created a series of imposing atriums as a separation between the Elisabeth Hall and the complex with the other 19th century halls.


The new entrance hall was made somewhat narrower to meet the optimised requirement for acoustics. The reduction in size also created a light-flooded atrium.

The in-situ concrete walls of the entrance hall ensure the stability of the room and also give it enough mass to keep the sound inside. Large cantilevered trusses support two floating balconies at the back of the space. The technical building equipment of the concert hall is supported by floor-to-ceiling steel frames that span the entire space. Below the hall is a new underground car park enclosed by the surrounding buildings, which makes the execution a special challenge. ABT was responsible for the structural design.

Scope of services: Structural engineering, refurbishment

Photos: Jonas Verhulst @ Flanders Meeting & Convention Center

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