Conversion and renovation of a former garage building (Permeke) in a difficult neighbourhood near the Central Station. The city of Antwerp organized an architecture competition which Stramien won.
Concept and design. Alongside the De Coninckplein, the old ruined buildings were demolished. Central focus point is a new glass cube housing a Grand Café. This ‘box’ is the new face of the project; a transparent and clear signal of the new function of this location. Two new courtyards – one in the front and one in the back – accentuate the project’s transparent character. They provide extra light and nature in what used to be a closed building.
The old garage building (two layers) in the inner area was dismantled and converted into the new Central Library, with an open market concept on the ground floor. A red cube housing an auditorium serves as an articulation in the space. The saw tooth roof and its original support structure were completely restored. A new dome stretches across the square, which makes room for bookcases, or other uses of the space. New office buildings at the front and at the back of the building house a numbers of departments of the city of Antwerp.