Location: Antwerp Linkeroever, Belgium
Status: Design contribution for the exhibition and book ‘Linkeroever – Across the River’
Client: Antwerp City Architect Christian Rapp
Exposition: Festival van de architectuur 2017
In cooperation with: David Dooghe

Linkeroever is the urban district at the West of the river Scheldt, facing the historic Antwerp city centre. It has been developed in several phases since the 1950s and is characterised by its natural borders (the river and forests), its morphological variety of the quarters (villa areas to CIAM developments) and its rigid lane structure separating the different quarters. For this district an design concept competition was set up, with the goal to give new ideas and insights on the future urban transformation of this urban district.

We developed an adaptive framework, that can develop in time, based on three design principles:

The first principle, the Common Landscape, softens the boundary between water and land at the edges of the district by transforming the current surplus green structure into a recreational tidal landscape, that activates the shores. By doing so, Antwerp can develop from Stad aan de Stroom (City at the Stream), to Stad in de Delta (City in the Delta).

The second principle, the Common Amenities, reinforces existing amenities clusters by connecting them to a large scale recreational network. Linkeroever will be connected to the West side of Antwerp, the port or other villages upstream by means of a water taxi and frequent water bus or ferry connections, transforming the river Scheldt from a barrier to a connector.

The last principle, the Common Space, transforms the wide lanes between the districts into meeting spaces between these districts. This by adding, in or along the lanes, local facilities which can be shared by the district’s inhabitants, such as a shared, gardens, kitchens, storages and workspaces.