Antwerp, KMDA, Koningin Astridplein 20-26
2020 – 2023
The Zoo of Antwerp has become my home base in recent weeks. I was following the internship for the museum guide course here. The exam is on Monday January, so why not link the useful to the pleasant: write a blog post about the plans with the Jubileeumcomplex and at the same time improve the ‘subject matter’.
The Jubileeumcomplex is the section against the side wall of Central Station. It was designed by architect René Grosemans in 1968 on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the zoo. It was mainly built to hide Central Station from view. To show as many animals as possible on the available surface, the animal enclosures were stacked. At the bottom of the accommodation large cats, on the first floor a Nocturama and on the second floor birds of prey and a dolphinarium. The last years there were sea lions in the dolphinarium.
The last few weeks the animals have moved to another zoo or place in the Antwerp Zoo. The complex is in any case thoroughly addressed to increase animal welfare and the visitor experience. The promenade network (think at the Skywalk above the shop at the entrance) expands, so that even more beautiful views of the zoo are possible.
The sea lions get outdoor accommodation and their current indoor pool is raised with a glass wall so that the animals can swim up to 4 meters deep. The nocturama disappears and the other residences make room for two large cat species. On the left side of the complex, the snow leopards are given a place on the top floor. Below the Amur tigers. Only 360 Amur tigers live in nature!
There are currently four large lion statues next to the lion’s enclosure. These are from a Predator complex that stood on the site of the Jubileeumcomplex, but was damaged by V-bombs during the Second World War. The statues will also become part of the renewal. They will act as a kind of support for a slope and walkway.
Renewal Jubileum complex
This article first appeared on my other site about architecture in and around Antwerp: archiplore.
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