Solid Objectives – Idenburg Liu (SO – IL), the New York-based firm or Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu, recently ranked in an invited competition for the new Province Hall of Antwerp, Belgium. SO – IL was one of five finalists for this import governmental project organized by the Flemish Government Architect.
The new Province Hall will house the headquarters and administrative bodies of the Antwerp provincial government. The complex is located along the Queen Elisabeth Lei, within a nineteenth century residential area between the historic city center and the ring road of Antwerp. SO – IL's proposal reshapes the modernist typology of 'tower on plinth' into a supple building volume that combines autonomy with connectivity. While the tower creates a strong figure as it gently rises up till 50 meters in the center of the city block, the meandering plinth firmly embeds the building within the urban morphology and defines specific realms—both interior and exterior.
The 16 meter wide tower houses the provincial departments whereas the 9-meter high, double-story, plinth contains two large auditoria, lobby and exhibition spaces, a restaurant, a library and logistic areas. The building contains 37000 m2 and would cost around 65 million euro. The super structure is envisioned in concrete with an expressive façade of travertine and glass. The building adheres to strict environmental requirements, as prescribed by the brief.
SO – IL's entry took second in the competition. Winner of the competition was XDGA out of Brussels, with a third place taken by Miralles Taglibue, Barcelona. SO – IL worked on their proposal within a team that further consisted of Bureau Bouwtechniek (local partner), Ney (structures), Ingenium (environment) and West 8 (landscape).