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Living on the inside-out

't Groen Kwartier


’t Groen Kwartier is the redevelopment of the former Military Hospital of Antwerp. A new, green, car-free oasis of almost 8 hectares within the city perimeter of Antwerp.

Architect: Stéphane Beel and Lieven Achtergael - Huiswerk Architecten - 360 Architecten - Landscape Architect: Michel Desvigne / public Partner: Ag Vespa / Developed together with Matexi

Strategic city and repurposing projects are fantastic tools for injecting energy in urban gaps and putting them back on the map. It generally involves some complex operations that require large-scale investment. In such cases, joining forces in a public-private partnership is usually the best solution. Together with municipal authorities, public administrative bodies and other private partners, we bring together all the knowledge and resources to tackle these innovative projects with efficient clout and bring them to a successful end. ’t Groen Kwartier in Antwerp is a gleaming example of this.

Green oasis of 8 hectares

On the site of the former Military Hospital of Antwerp, you can now find ’t Groen Kwartier. The oasis of green comprises in total 404 residential units: a balanced mix of trendy loft apartments in historic buildings, newly constructed apartments and comfortable family homes with gardens. Plus, there is also space for other functions of a city (shops, office space, work studios, and so on). This combination has made ’t Groen Kwartier into a vibrant new area of the city.

Relaxed atmosphere and open character

The site itself is almost entirely car-free. This is a deliberate choice that makes the Military Hospital a green and peaceful place over 7.7 hectares with the busier city centre nearby. A great deal of attention was paid to the outside space when designing this project. This green oasis was shaped by the Parisian landscape architect Michel Desvigne. More than 350 trees bring the green to your doorstep both in the park area and in the individual garden rooms.

The site itself is almost entirely car-free. This is a deliberate choice that makes the Military Hospital a green and peaceful place
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Relaxed atmosphere and open character are key assets of ’t Groen Kwartier. It is a public park that, although it is walled, is not closed off. Seven entrances give direct access to the neighbouring areas, all with just as much character as ’t Groen Kwartier itself. As such, the site combines the best of the Zurenborg and Haringrode areas, and adds a park.

It is a public park that, although it is walled, is not closed off.

The Wintergang: from a covered pavement to an elegant gallery

A key element of the construction of public areas at ’t Groen Kwartier is the conversion of the Wintergang. This old covered pavement linked the various buildings together and provided protection from the cold for nursing staff during the winter time.

This has now been turned into a publicly-accessible gallery that gives the residents additional scope to put the available public space to optimal use. These days, a whole range of neighbourhood initiatives, such as fairs, flea markets and street parties are held in the Wintergang. The presence of this high-quality outdoor space serves as a catalyst to the entire area.

Unique place to live, attractive architecture

’t Groen Kwartier has now become one of the most important open spaces in the city of Antwerp. The site is cultural heritage and still exudes the past. Convivial shared lawn areas are interspersed with smart, quiet paths for pedestrians and cyclists, providing easy links between the different areas of the city. It is an area that is alive and where you can perfectly enjoy a pleasant walk or cycle ride.

The historic main building of the military hospital, the barracks, the furnace house and the chapel have been beautifully renovated into a modern area that exudes its history. Here you can experience architecture as the lever pulling forward beautiful inner-city renewal.

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