Urban planning and architecture for an old harbor

Transforming an Old Harbor into a New Attraction

Project of Antea Group Belgium

The development of the Antwerp Harbor started in the 16th century by “’t Eilandje”. This old harbor area of Antwerp covers an area of about 200 hectares. The departure of many harbor activities hit the area in decline. CroonenBuro5 has designed the reconstruction of a former harbor site and urban masterplan phases 1 and 2.

The Master Plan describes a dynamic development which transforms the ancient harbor into a vibrant and attractive district of Antwerp. It is an urban renewal of unprecedented scale, similar to the Rotterdam Kop van Zuid or Hamburgs Hafencity. The Master Plan shows a vision for the new city area “’t Eilandje.” 

New city area

The Masterplan is not a blueprint but provides preconditions that makes a dynamic and future development. The spatial frameworks provide orientation, coherence and visibility of the former harbor area. Water plays a prominent role. The docks are the main elements determining the ambience, and a permanent reference to the history of the region. The large open docking areas form in contrast to the compact buildings an exciting, urban ensemble in connection to the inner city. The harbor of Antwerp becomes Harbor City along the Stroom. 

Development and employment

After completing the first phase, “’t Eilandje” inhabites about 2,500 new residents and more than 6,500 employees. At least 200,000 m² is nowadays in use for commercial and cultural facilities. With the construction of the second phase, these numbers are doubled. In the future, thousands of people make “’t Eilandje” to a vibrant and bustling neighborhood, which is a special addition to the City of Antwerp. 

Based on the master plan, a dozen of sub-products were made by various engineerings and design offices.

Urban planning city grid