Trip to Antwerp

Every year, Allies and Morrison takes a trip as a whole studio to discover a new place. A place from which we can learn, see examples of interesting architecture and – to generally – enjoy each other’s company. For 2016 the choice was Antwerp – the furthest we’ve ever been as a whole practice. So, in September, we boarded a Eurostar – all 300+ of us – and made our way from London St Pancras through the Channel and into Belgium.

After arriving at Antwerp’s remarkable Central Station, we checked into our hotels and went out for a night on the town. The next day was educational with guided tours by an exceptional group of Antwerpenaar guides of the historic centre, as well as the large regeneration site at the city’s historic docklands, which are being re-purposed into a beautiful new urban quarter for living and working. We also paid a visit to the Museum ann de Stroom, designed by Neutelings Riedijk Architects. The whole practice lunched together at the memorable Grande Cafe Horta, named in honour of the Antwerp architect Victor Horta in the Cafe’s Art Nouveau Hall, which was built from the re-purposed iron beams of Horta’s demolished People’s House in Brussels. Christoph Grafe, Director of the Flanders Architecture Institute, welcomed us to the city and gave a lovely talk on the state of Flemish architecture today.

All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our time. Dank u Antwerpen.