Karbonkelhouse on the Groenplaats

Karbonkelhouse

architect unknown

Antwerp, Groenplaats 33

1520 – 1522

Karbonkelhouse

There is a beautiful facade on the Groenplaats, a bit hidden. It is a very early example of Renaissance architecture in Antwerp. The name ‘Karbonkel’ refers to the diamond heads on the facade of the ground floor. In the beginning, the facade of the ground floor was completely set with diamond heads, but due to various renovations over the centuries, they can now only be seen at the base of the columns.

Renaissance

The Renaissance started in Italy in the fifteenth century and was based on Ancient Greek and Roman architecture. Classic elements were used. In the Karbonkel house you have grotesques and arabesques scattered around the pilasters, in other words the decoration on the columns is typical Renaissance. The red-pink shade is not original, it was applied during restorations in 1990 – 1994.

Willem Heda

The building was built in the early sixteenth century for Willem Heda. There are a few small memories of this period in the interior, such as the initials WH that stand for the owner. These initials were used to date the house. Willem Heda was appointed canon of the Antwerp Church of Our Lady in 1520 and lived in a house in very poor condition at this location. Heda appointed a bricklayer to build a ‘zeer costelyck huys’ (very expensive house). In 1522 he described the house in a deed. The Karbonkel house must therefore have been built between 1520 and 1522.

Karbonkelhouse

 

architect unknown

Antwerp, Groenplaats 33

1520 – 1522

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

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