The offices, in Antwerp know as stadsloket (city office), will be located in Zaal Harmonie, a former events and dance hall.
Renovation works started in 2017. “The monument is being restored according to the design of the renowned Rotterdam architectural firm Atelier Kempe Thill. The new design respects the building’s original design”, according to the website.
“Zaal Harmonie will once again have the appearance of yesteryear: the stucco of the interior and facades will be restored and, where necessary, reconstructed. The existing facades will again receive monumental wooden joinery and the roofs the original roof covering. The orangery and caretaker’s house are also being restored.”
Part of the building will be for the stadsloket. But there will be also space for public events such as a reception, an exhibition, a performance or a lecture.
The other administrative functions (including workplaces and staff refectory) will be housed in the adjacent areas. The former caretaker’s house at Mozartstraat 7 offers space for the offices of the district aldermen and meeting rooms.
The orangery will be integrated into the operation of the Zaal Harmonie hall as the district house of Antwerp and will be redesignated for holding district council meetings and for the possibility of use as a catering industry.
Harmonious whole with the park
In 2015, the Harmony Park was redesigned in the spirit of a 19th century landscape park with typical sloping lawn areas and winding footpaths. The park, the revived fountain of the Peter Benoit monument and the restored building will form a harmonious and attractive whole in Antwerp’s city center in the future.
The neoclassical building was originally a summer room of the Koninklijke Maatschappij der Harmonie. This association of music lovers bought the land along the stone roads to Berchem and Wilrijk in 1844 to set up a concert hall.
It organized an architectural competition for which architect Pieter Dens submitted the winning concept. The new building with orangery was inaugurated in July 1846.
In 1923, the city of Antwerp bought the site and turned the garden into a public city park. For decades the hall retained its function as a concert and event hall.
The hall, the orangery and the former caretaker’s house were listed as a monument in 1997.
Province, city and district
The province is a remnant of the French département des Deux-Nèthes. The city of Antwerp consists of the district of Antwerp and the other districts Berchem, Wilrijk, Borgerhout, Berendrecht-Zandvliet-Lillo, Ekeren, Hoboken, Deurne and Merksem.