This project comprises the restoration, renovation and conversion of the historic court building in Antwerp, preparing it in a sustainable fashion for its future programme as home to the Courts of Assize and Appeal.
Our design constitutes a restoration of the building’s original design as conceived by architect Lode Baeckelmans in 1867. This design, which is characterised by a clear and hierarchical morphology organised around
2 central courtyards and the Salle des Pas Perdus, was compromised even during
its execution, partly due to the architect’s untimely death. In the decades that followed, numerous interventions further undermined the purity and flow of the original design.
From the very earliest stages of our work on the project, it became clear that Baeckelmans’ original design was still very much relevant for the building’s future programme. Our primary interventions therefore consist of
the meticulous unravelling of the various
elements that detract from the “reading” of the original design and hinder the spatial experience and functional application of the building. The elements of the building that remained were then carefully restored.
Several 21st century additions were also made with care and respect for the historic nature of the building, thus enabling the execution of the building’s programme in accordance with contemporary standards for comfort, sustainability and security.
This includes the integration of various technical facilities, the construction of an additional courtroom and staircase, the restoration and extension of the original staircases and commissioning of the historic attic.