Grand Prize Winner & Category Winner Living Together: Westkaai towers 5 & 6, Belgium

two red brick facade apartment towers Westkaai Towers 5 and 6
Westkaai Towers 5 & 6, Belgium © Filip Dujardin

Key facts

Tony Fretton Architects (Tony Fretton), UK and
De Architecten NV (Koen Van Orshaegen), BEL
Antwerp, Belgium
Construction period 2013 - 2016
Nomination category
Living together
Purpose Housing
Usable floor area T5: 9.648 m², T6: 6.432 m²
Brick type
Facing bricks

The winning project

Six residential tow­ers determine the new horizon of Antwerp’s northern harbor area Westkaai. As the whole area is under redevelopment, the row of the six towers has been divided into three pairs of buildings designed by different architects. The Towers 5 & 6 were realized by Tony Fretton in collab­oration with De Architecten NV.
These two towers look similar, but they differ in details. The diversity and range of Flemish bricks allows a subtle difference in color between the two towers. The façades are a carefully proportioned grid of horizontal parapets and vertical piers that incorporates all win­dows and balcony fenestrations. The piers run to the ground, firmly anchoring the towers to their place. To counter the repetition in the façades, the load-bearing walls were constructed in a bonding of bricks laid in a length- and cross-di­rection, adding an original detail to the towers.
Leaving the corners out makes the form of the buildings more sculptural – that´s important from the distance, because it´s not just the case that the people see the city from the building, but that also the city sees the building from the distance. – Tony Fretton, Tony Fretton Architects
The towers in Antwerp display the experienced hand of an architect that controls both the overall monu­mental expression of a composition and much-need­ed variations so often lacking in contemporary hous­ing through the sensitive use of a the single material brick.

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