Bank J. Van Breda – from old station to bank

Headquarter Bank J. Van Breda & Co

Franz Seulen / Conix Architectenbureau

Antwerp, Ledeganckkaai 7

1901 / 2004 – 2006

Freight Station

At the end of the 19th century there were three stations in the south of Antwerp: a passenger station, a freight station and a station for the ferry line to Harwich. Only the goods station survived the constant innovations in the south. There was already a freight station in 1882. The building that we now see is a renovation from 1901 by architect Frans Seulen. It was put into use in 1903.

In the 50s and 60s of the last century, the activityof the port moved to the north. The passenger station was demolished in 1965. The goods station was also closed in 1988. 

Decline

There were several companies and organizations that wanted to buy the building, but this always turned out to be unsuccessful. In the meantime, there were squatters in it and part of the building was destroyed. The building was protected in 1998, but this did not stop the decline. Bank Van Breda discovered the building in 2004 and saw opportunities in it. A building application was submitted in May 2004 and approved in December.

Bank Van Breda

The project included the renovation of the freight station and a new construction. The architect of this project was the Antwerp architectural firm Conix Architects. The former counter hall with an iron supporting structure in Art Nouveau has now a reception function. There is an auditorium with 100 seats next to the counter hall. The new building is only connected with the older building with a glass hall. In December 2006, the Van Breda Bank moved from Plantin and Moretuslei to their new headquarters. The bank has 400 employees, of which 220 work in these buildings.

Bank Van Breda

 

Franz Seulen / Conix Architectenbureau

Antwerp, Ledeganckkaai 7

1901 / 2004-2006

This article first appeared on my other site about architecture in and around Antwerp: archiplore.

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