Atlas Building Antwerp

Urban new-build project for the city’s Integration Service and the ‘Huis van het Nederlands’ with 3,750 m2 of offices

In February 2003, META wins the open competition for the ‘Atlasgebouw’ commissioned by the City of Antwerp. The building houses the offices of the integration service of the City of Antwerp., het Huis van het Nederlands and the ‘materials bank’ of the Province of Antwerp. The programme also includes landscape and cell offices, large reception rooms and an exposition room on the ground floor.

Conserving and renovating the existing concrete structure, situated at the Provinciesteeg, created a city garden between the front and back building. It borders the exposition room. The large building depth on the ground floor and the first floor are compensated with a glass-covered space in the heart of the building. This space lights the reception desk and creates a natural orientation when entering the building.

The building has a rational concrete skeleton with a clear mark within which vertical circulation and sanitary conveniences were organised. This choice and organisation of this mark, the neutral plan and the neutral front create a maximal potential for the current and future user.

In this project as well, we try to conceive and to detail the raw building extensively, so it can be used in the final building. Through this ‘raw building is final building’ principle the price per m2 can be kept low. Given the political and social tension around this project, this sober finishing benefits the desired image and character.

The integrated approach of techniques ensures a pleasant working environment despite the limited investment. These lowtech techniques work here in symbiosis with the ‘raw building is final building’ principle. This way an astute system of night cooling and day ventilation based on natural airing of the building is provided.