Published on 30 September 2021

Design for the underground spaces and infrastructure beneath the Groenplaats in Antwerp

In 2020, the City of Antwerp, De Lijn, Indigo and water-link decided to appoint Witteveen+Bos and Cross Architecture to develop the technical and architectural design of the underground spaces and infrastructure beneath the Groenplaats and adjacent streets.

The design includes the renovation of the premetro station, the parking area with more electric vehicle and shared mobility facilities and the construction of a new bicycle parking area with space for around 800 bicycles. The renovated Groenplaats square will become a pleasant space to stay and linger, with the underground space being an extension of this; a space that offers both Antwerp residents and visitors easy access to various forms of transport to the city centre.

With its focus on climate adaptation, Antwerp aims to regreen the Groenplaats by planting trees and installing large underground water buffers. The design includes the construction of two water buffers and an entirely separate waste water system beneath the Groenplaats and the adjacent streets. An ingenious underground system has also been designed to safeguard optimal growth conditions for the Groenplaats’s mature trees.

The Witteveen+Bos and Cross Architecture design prioritises ‘simple integrity’, in which the substructure is considered to be an inviting and high-quality extension of the Groenplaats public space.

International and multidisciplinary approach

Witteveen+Bos established an international and experienced team in order to realise this project. They will work with this team in the coming years to further refine the design in consultation with the City of Antwerp, De Lijn, Indigo, water-link and various stakeholders, so that the works can start by end 2023.