Westkaai Towers 5 & 6

Grand Prize Winner & Category Winner Living Together

Westkaai Towers 5 & 6 black and white; Brick Award 2018 Grand Prize Winner, category "Living Together"; Tony Fretton Architects; Photo: Filip Dujardin

Key facts

Westkaai Towers 5 & 6

Architects   Tony Fretton Architects (Tony Fretton), UK and De Architecten NV (Koen Van Orshaegen), BEL

Location   Antwerp, Belgium

Construction period   2013 - 2016

Nomination category   Living Together

Purpose   Housing

Brick type   Facing Bricks

Photo: © Filip Dujardin


About the 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

Winners 18