Oudaan

Status

in design

Location

Antwerp

Client

AG VESPA

Team

Evert Crols, Juanjo Cubí Hernández, Vincent De Keyser, Dirk Engelen, Sven Grooten, Harout Haleblian, Patrick Janssens, Inge Stevens, Brecht Van Duppen

The Oudaan area in the centre of Antwerp is a unique place, marked by its police tower designed by Renaat Braem and built in 1958. The tower, which functioned as Antwerp’s police force headquarters from 1970 onwards, is one of the three towers that characterises Antwerp’s skyline and reflects the spirit of postwar optimism. The police tower was once part of a plan for a larger administrative complex, though ultimately only the car park was built. Then it was leased out on the private market, and became a shopping centre nicknamed 'the beehive'.

With its strategic position between many different neighbourhoods, the Oudaan should be considered an important urban hub, yet it isn’t fulfilling its potential. Therefore, following consultation with various stakeholders with the history of the location in mind, an extensive design study was carried out, resulting in recommendations for a redevelopment. With attention to density, volume, public space and mobility, a thoughtful framework has been devised, which above all transforms the dysfunctional area into a future-oriented urban intersection, bringing new value to the city centre and its neighbouring districts.