Wednesday November 13, 2013
Willem Jan Neutelings, Neutelings Riedijk Architects
Completed in 2010, Neutelings Riedijk’s nine-story Museum aan de Stroom (MAS), or City Museum of Antwerp, was built to house and conserve the Belgian city’s heritage, catalyze development between the center and its famous port, and signal the former financial capital as a new center of art and culture. “Stacked on top of each other in order to make the weight of history physically visible,” according to Dutch architect Willem Jan Neutelings, the MAS spirals around a concrete core and cantilevers on steel trusses. Its forms are made of wavy glass and alternating shades of red sandstone that were patterned according to the four-color theorem, as well as context-specific ornamentation: the museum‘s exterior is decorated with 3,000 metallic hands that pay homage to the city’s coat of arms and apocryphal founding myth as a city of “hand werpen” or “hand throwing,” while the interior is adorned with 3,000 manhole-inspired medallions that feature a poem about the its defining feature, water, to weave together building, place, and civic identity.
Sponsored by The Steel Institute of New York