My top 4 Art Deco buildings
Art Deco was a material style movement that developed during the 1920s in Europa and the United States. The term art deco was popularized by the art historian and critic Bevis Hiller in the book ‘Art Deco of the 20s and 30s’. There’s a theory that this was an abbreviation of the ‘Exposition des Arts Decoratifs et Industrials’, an exhibition held in Paris in 1925.
Art Deco was completely different from Art Nouveau, the style that preceded it. Art Nouveau was floral and with curvy lines. Art Deco was bold, stark and has simple lines. An Art Deco building was designed to be clean and uncluttered, but still refined and elegant. Sometimes nautical or precolombian elements are included.
Firma De Coene
Why am I telling you all this? Because the last months we were busy in Schoten (my hometown, next to Antwerp). From the 9th till the 24th of April there’s an exhibition about Art Deco and more specific about Joseph De Coene. He was a painter and entrepreneur. The furniture of his company ‘De Coene’ are celebrated around the world.
2. Shop Tilquin
Meir 99, Antwerp
Tilquin is a shop specialised in cutlery, silverware and crockery. In 1933 they asked architect Joseph Selis to design a new shop. After 60 years the shop moved to another building. Between 2002 and 2004 the shop and apartments above were renovated by architecten Driesen – Meersman – Thomaes.
Schoenmarkt 35, Antwerp
The Boerentoren (Farmer’s tower in English) is constructed between 1929 and 1932. The current height is 95,8 meters what made this one of the tallest buildings in Antwerp. It is considered to be Europe’s first skyscraper. There were three architects involved in the design of this tower: Emiel Van Averbeke, Jan Vanhoenacker and Jos Smolderen.
The Sint-Annatunnel is the official name of this tunnel, but everyone knows it by the name ‘Voetgangerstunnel’ (pedestrian tunnel). Built between 1931 and 1933 the tunnel connect the left and right bank of the river Scheldt. The entrance buildings designed by Emiel Van Averbeke are typical for the era it was built in.
More architecture in Antwerp
Expohal Wenceslas de ‘t Serclaes Antwerp, Deurne, Te Couwelaarlei 95 1958Expo 58 The building that is now used as a sports hall in Deurne is originally a pavilion of Expo 58 in Brussels. It was built by the Kortrijkse Kunstwerkstede Gebroeders De Coene. They realized...
Belgian Fruit Fair Joseph Somers + Cols en De Roeck + Alfred Portielje Antwerp, Zeevaartstraat 1935 – 1936 Fruit During my architecture studies I discovered this hidden gem of Art Deco. This building is of course discussed during the “Warehouses and Parks” tour. The...
Parkbrug Ney & Partners Antwerp, Italiëlei 2016Gate to the city 170 tons 67m long 10m wide at the ends, 5m wide in the middleParkbrug In 2011 I first heard about the plans for a bridge over the Leien. That was the year the MAS opened! All those years I dragged...