Stocj Exchange Antwerp
Stock Exchange Antwerp
After years of waiting, the time has finally come: the Antwerp Stock Exchange can be visited freely. This summer there is a pop-up terrace in the covered courtyard and an exhibition on the first floor. Finally, because it has been two years since I visited the fair under renovation during an Openwervendag. In this blog post I want to talk about the architect responsible for the current view: Joseph Schadde.
Joseph Schadde was born on August 3, 1818 and was supposed to follow his father’s footsteps. Pierre Schadde was a carpenter, so son Joseph was enrolled at the Antwerp Academy as a student furniture maker at the age of 13. After two years he switched and started taking classes in architecture. He remained a student there for 8 years, but never actually left. For 38 years he was a teacher at the Academy.
Schadde was also interested in monuments and archeology. For more than 25 years he was affiliated with the Académie Royale d’Archéologie de Belgique, a scientific institution on archeology and history. He traveled to France several times and was also well aware of the French way of conservation (with Viollet-le-Duc as the main author).
The most important order that Schadde received in Antwerp was the reconstruction of the Stock Exchange. It burnt down in 1858. This also destroyed the revolutionary iron span of the 1852 courtyard, the vaults of the colonnades and much of the entrance at the Twaalfmaandenstraat.
Two competitions were organized for the reconstruction, the first in 1858, the second two years later. The latter criticized Schadde’s design, he modified his designs and finally a decision was made in 1868. On August 24, 1869, the first stone was laid. The fair was finished on 19 otkober 1872, which is also noted above the entrance at the Twaalfmaandenstraat.
Fire safety was considered very important. Schadde stated that there is no wooden beam in the entire building. In addition to the facades and roof construction, architect Schadde also designed the joinery, gas lighting and doors. The tower of the entrance on the Borzestraat is the only monumental remnant of the fair, it has been heavily restored in the nineteenth century.
The biggest adaptation to the original plan is the double gallery. The single gallery, which had been there since the sixteenth century, was doubled (in width). This significantly reduced the courtyard. The upstairs gallery is a newly constructed section, copied to the ground floor.
Architect Joseph Schadde not only worked in a neo-gothic style, but also in the neo-renaissance. His last realized design was the Tolhuis. Schadde died on December 3, 1894, the Tolhuis was finished in 1899. His student Eugène Geefs followed up the project.
Stock Exchange by architect Schadde
This article first appeared on my other site about architecture in and around Antwerp: archiplore.
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