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Galleo Bildern


Architects: Neutelings Riedijk Architects // Project size: 13.000 m² GFA // Completion: 2009 // Awards: AIT Award 2012 - Public Buildings, Belgian Steel Construction Award 2012 - Non-residential

The "Museum aan de Stroom" (MAS)" stands on the historic ground of the "Eilandje". Here, until the end of the 19th century, stood the Hanzehuis, beloved by the people of Antwerp, a symbol of the glorious Hanseatic era when Antwerp was the richest city in Northern Europe. The MAS now adopts this high standard not only in terms of art, but also in terms of the building itself.

The refreshing design by Neutelings Riedijk Architects, reminiscent of the warehouses of yesteryear, comprises a stack of 10 concrete boxes, each positioned at 90 degrees to the previous one. The space outside the boxes functions as a public gallery, offering a special and ever-changing view of the harbour and the city of Antwerp.

The main structure is a concrete core with 35 cm thick cast-in-place concrete walls. Attached to this concrete shaft are projecting, storey-high steel trusses that follow the spiral course and support the concrete boxes containing the museum halls. Due to the weight, the steel girders give way about seven to ten centimetres. Accordingly, the girders were provided with correction angles calculated by computers, which then set the girders in the correct position with the weight of the final sandstone facade.


The lattice girders are perpendicular to the box and thus contribute to the support. However, the concentrated forces generated by the truss girders exceeded the absorption capacity of the concrete core. To compensate for the large forces generated by the girders, steel buffer plates were cast into the concrete.

A special part of the structure is formed by the glass facades, which are up to 11 metres high. Based on the extremely positive experience with the Casa da Musica in Porto, the decision was made to use wave-shaped glass panels that look like huge transparent curtains. Depending on the angle, the facades are almost opaque, but from most perspectives they allow a fantastic view. Due to their height, the wave-shaped glass panels lean on each other and are supported halfway up by a steel tube that serves as a wind beam. This steel tube is suspended by chains from the concrete box above. Under the influence of variable loads, the concrete boxes move independently of each other.

Scope of services: Structural engineering, glass engineering

Photos: Sarah Blee, Daria Scagliola, Stijn Brakkee

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