Antwerp Tower, once dubbed one of Europe’s “ugliest buildings”, was given a thorough makeover.
The office flat from the seventies, nearby the neo-classical Opera, was renovated in a combined project that was developed by WAA for Matexi.

Building type Living
Location Antwerpen
Architect Wiel Arets Architects i.s.m. ELD
Contractor THV CIT-Blaton - Democo


A contemporary and energy-efficient building of 26 floors at the heart of Antwerp. Matexi transformed Antwerp Tower to a housing tower, next to the opera and nearby Central Station. Thanks to the addition of the penthouse floors, the tower is now higher than the Boerentoren and is only surpassed by the cathedral. “Quite a technical feat”

From the start of the design phase, Vorsselmans was involved in the façade’s transformation – as was Democo, the white concrete supplier. On the back-set balconies, we incorporated sliding windows as a way to access the outdoors, as the architect wanted the glass panes of the façades to be as large as possible. Because the existing structure was retained and made a lot wider along all sides, it was a huge challenge to cope with the occurring deflections. By developing a fixture (designed for this project), Vorsselmans was able to allow any opening parts to function properly. Placing the large windows – at this height – was also a huge logistical challenge that required close contact and collaboration with the other stakeholders.

From ugly duckling to beautiful swan.


On the current tower’s location, there used to be a wooden dance pavilion and a restaurant in the 1900s. It was demolished to make room for ‘Grand Hotel Weber’, a prestigious hotel in the belle-époque style with a dome and four bronze statues of women. During WWII, it got heavily damaged and it never became a hotel again. Until the early sixties, it was empty, just to be torn down later on. In 1973, this place became the home of a humongous office building: Antwerp Tower.

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