The KBC Tower, also known as Boerentoren or Farmer’s Tower, in Antwerp has been sold to entrepeneur Fernand Huts and his Katoen Natie Group. Hits will turn into a sanctuary of arts and culture.
The redevelopment will be done by ION. The tower will also accommodate shops, hospitality, offices and apartments in the main ‘tower part’ of the tower.
The tower will now be partially dismantled to allow stabilisation work to go ahead and asbestos to be removed. Work will start next year.
Once finished the resurrected Boerentoren will be able to house exhibitions and store works of art. It will also include a public access restauration workshop, a sculpture garden, a cinema, an auditorium and a bookstore.
The three top storeys will offer visitors panoramic views on the Metropole. The tower should be ready by 2027. The iconic KBC logo is to remain.
On the tower
Constructed between 1929 and 1932 and originally 87.5 m (287 ft) high, the Boerentoren remains the tallest building and the second tallest structure of any kind in the city, after the gothic Cathedral of Our Lady.
At the time of construction it was the second tallest building in Europe by roof height (after Telefónica Building), according to English Wikipedia. Dutch Wikipedia states it was the tallest.
Designed in Art-deco style, the Boerentoren is one of Europe‘s very first tall buildings. The Boerentoren remained the tallest in Belgium until 1960, and is currently ranked 21st tallest in the country.
In 1954 the tower was extended with an antenna which reached to a total height of 112.5 m (369 ft).
In 1976, the roof of the tower was raised by 8.3 m (27 ft), and the current roof height is therefore 95.8 m (314 ft). The building was designed by Jan Van Hoenacker.
Sources: VRT NWS, Wikipedia