Park Spoor Noord – trains and bikes

Park Spoor Noord

Studio Associato Secchi-Viganò

Antwerp, Ellermanstraat + Viséstraat

2005 – 2008 / 2009

 

North

A public park has been located in the north of Antwerp since 2008. With good weather this is a beautiful place, where you can barbecue, cycle, walk, drink or eat or simply admire the architecture. Before 1873 there was a fort and a lunet to defend the city.

Trails

In 1873 the Antwerp Dam station was build here. The domain was 24 hectares and it was used as a parking lot for trains where they were also maintained and repaired. It formed a barrier between different districts of the city: Dam, Suivenberg and Seefhoek.

Parc

In 2001, the NMBS stopped its activities here and moved the trains to the north of Antwerp. Three years before, a new urban plan had already been drawn up, with this area being given the main function of a park. A competition was organized for the development of this park. The competition was won by Studio Associato Secchi-Viganò, an Italian architectural firm that has also drawn up the New South master plan. They asked the neighborhood what they missed in the area and what they wanted in the new park. There were a few things that stood out: the parc also served as an extension of the outdoor space of the houses in the neighborhood. 7 out of 8 residents do not have a terrace or garden, which is why barbecues have been installed. You bring meat and, or fish and coal, you choose one of the barbecues and you start.

You will also find no bushes, only trees. This increases the sense of security and also a positive point: it is a saving measure. But the soil also had to be cleaned up and to keep it economically viable, a part was reserved for buildings on the west side. The NMBS received 192,000 m² for building rights and to keep as much park as possible, high-rise buildings were used (and they are tall buildings, see the list of the highest buildings in Antwerp). The parc was 18 hectares in size, including a BMX and skatebowl and graffiti. The cycle paths are usually also duplicated, so they look like train tracks.

The designers received some prizes for the parc. The slogan that described the project:

A parc for the twenty-first century.

Park Spoor Noord

 

Studio Associato Secchi-Viganò

Antwerp, Ellermanstraat + Viséstraat

2005 – 2008 / 2009 

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

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