Architect will rework design of Antwerp's Boerentoren, says owner

Daniel Libeskind will redesign his controversial plans for the Boerentoren skyscraper in Antwerp, owner Fernand Huts said on Sunday during a working trip to Switzerland.

The famous Antwerp skyscraper was sold to Huts' company Katoen Natie in 2020. In 2022, Huts announced plans to extend the tower with a design by architect Daniel Libeskind, who won a design competition. His plans caused some controversy, partly because a glass structure would be placed on top of the tower. According to Huts, the plans have now been restarted and "the design is not set in stone".

"Completely unacceptable"

Both the current and the four previous Flemish master builders, whose job it is to "promote the architectural quality of the built environment", spoke out strongly against the design late last year, calling it "completely unacceptable". And according to a recent survey by Gazet Van Antwerpen, 61 per cent of Antwerp residents do not want the tower to change.

Flemish Heritage minister Matthias Diependaele said earlier this year that several meetings had already taken place between Katoen Natie, developer ION, the city architect and the Heritage Agency, adding that "that dialogue is going well".

Libeskind to stay on board

Huts says he has learned a lot from the reactions to Libeskind's design and that he will remain on board. The Polish-American is a renowned architect, best known for designing the master plan for the World Trade Center site in New York City and the Jewish Museum in Berlin.

The other plans for the Boerentoren remain the same, serving the public and culture. There will be restaurants and a sculpture garden with panoramic views at the top of the tower. There will be no residential space in the skyscraper.

Libeskind's original design. © Katoen Natie
Libeskind's original design. © Katoen Natie

#FlandersNewsService | © Katoen Natie

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