The Scheldt Quays of and in Antwerp are living a process of transformation. Last year, the city council approved a first design direction for its central part, between Noorderterras (Northern Terrace) and Zuiderterras (Southern Terrace) Now the City of Antwerp and AG Vespa want your input.
In 2021, the Antwerp city council approved the sketch design for the central part of the Scheldt quays, between the Zuiderterras and Noorderterras.
“The sketch design aims to make the history of the city visible again, to anchor Het Steen in the area as a tourist destination, to connect the quay plain with the pedestrian terraces by means of stairs, to perpetuate water transport at this location, to make it a central mobility hub, to create space offer for small-scale events and activities and make the quay area greener, AG Vespa writes on its website.
If everything goes smoothly, the preliminary design for the central part of the Scheldt quays is expected by the summer of 2022. The central part of the Scheldt quays in Antwerp is the part between the two pavilions: the Zuiderterras and the Noorderterras. The Noorderhangar (Northern Hangar) and Zuiderhangar (Southern Hangar) are located on either side of Steenplein, with a walking terrace linked to both. The newly approved sketch design has seven major ambitions for this part of the Scheldt Quays.
Making history visible
Beneath the hangars, the design aims to bring the story of the city and its history back to life. Above ground, only Het Steen or Stone Castle is now visible. The layers of history can also be made visible again by uncovering archaeological finds from the medieval castle, the medieval quay wall and the Napoleonic quay.
Highs and lows can be played with, which expose the archaeological remains and can serve as a stage and play grounds.
Het Steen as the tourist reception over land and water
Het Steen is firmly anchored in the environment. The refurbishment of the public domain, the restoration of the Antwerp roadstead with water tourism and water transport and the restoration of the hangars all contribute to this.
New sightlines on Het Steen will be created and the historical relationship with the Vleeshuis (Butchers’ Hall) will be restored.
Stairs as a connection between the quay area and the walking terrace
The design aims to improve the connection between the quay surface and the inner city by replacing the existing concrete flood defense wall with a new mobile flood defense system close to the water. In this way, the space under the hangars can also be used continuously.
This new mobile flood defense system is partly sunk in an elevation. This elevation can also serve as a seating area along the Scheldt, somewhat sheltered by the pedestrian terrace above.
The design proposes to provide a staircase or a few stairs as a connection between the quay surface and the pedestrian terrace.
Optimally organizing and facilitating water transport at Steenplein
The pontoon at Steenplein is the landing place for the Sint-Annaferry (St. Anne’s Ferry Service) and the Waterbus. Together with the city harbor master and partners in water mobility, it is being investigated how transport by water at this location can be organized and facilitated as optimally as possible.
Central location and cross-linking of mobility
In addition to the central location for water transport, there will be room for shared mobility and public transport. Attention is also paid to accessibility for the emergency services.
Possibilities for activities on the quay plain
The design aims to breathe new life into the quay area by providing new possibilities for activities. Under the hangars there is room for small-scale events. The northern hangar plays a role in the tourist reception because it connects to the cruise terminal and Het Steen.
A route through the hangars, parallel to the Scheldt, leads past the spot where the Sint-Walburgiskerk (St. Walburga’s Church) stood. Pavilions under the hangars can serve as facilities or as archaeological stopping points for a look into the subsurface. In the southern hangar, space is also provided for small-scale events, such as markets, films, lectures, etc.
Seize the opportunity to ‘re-green’
The central part of the Scheldt quays is currently still a paved area, where parked cars and cobblestones predominate. The design aims to soften the quay area with greenery.
The existing trees on Steenplein will be preserved as much as possible and supplemented with new trees to create a green square.
The subsoil is also provided with a green plant layer. For example, this sketch design further focuses on the greening of the Scheldt quays.
The walking terraces will also be greened. The car park will disappear, the Flandria Pavilion will remain. It is also being investigated whether an urban garden can be created in the southern hangar.
The unique Scheldt view will be preserved.
AG Vespa is looking for your input via this opinion poll. If you’re interested, you can watch the webinar first.
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