.. and a cultural center
Off beat track regarding the evolution in the design: from hydraulic power plant to "cultural power plant".
Also, off beat path considering its current activities and concern: promoting world culture through different media: perf (plays, music), poetry evenings, exhibitions, festivals.
Some infos translated from their website (Dutch):
The Zuiderpershuis complex was designed to supply the ever growing port. The progressive use of mechanics overcame the human power (and horses') in energy supplying. That rise of mechanics led to the design of this impressive building in 1883. The hydraulic system is reported to have been inaugurated circa. 1878
I only saw the monumental facade but am even more impressed when i saw over the net some details on the use of the building. The monumental facade was the one that stroke me at first. Quite interesting.
The whole complex used to comprehend lots of engines, installations... it is possible to have a guided tour, something that obviously I haven't done (i've spent some time in the Foyer only). There, you would be shown how to turn a hydraulic power plant into a cultural "power plant". :)
It belongs to Antwerp city and became, in 1979, a protected industrial monument. There has been some renovations, namely when it has changed functionality (to cultural center). I guess it would be an off-beat path activity in Antwerp?
- a guided tour to see the complex used as cultural center for 1 hour at 1.50 euro;
- another guided tour to visit the remaining engines and installations that were part of the power plant (accumulators, etc..), their functioning, and some photo- archives. Also to see the evolutions of the complex through the two eras (as hydraulic power plant, as cultural power plant) and the restauration period. 1 hour at 1.50 euro as well.
Not that intersted, it is always possible to just attend the cultural evenings (check website.. click Programma) or spend some time at the Foyer to have drinks with friends or your favorite book.
The old petroleum installations of the south port of Antwerp are now largely disused, and what remains is threatened with "sanitation", an euphemism for outright demolition.
Go there and catch the unique atmosphere of the area before it's too late.
Efforts are being taken to have a number of representative stuctures listed.
To reach the area: follow the river south from downtown
This square to the south of the city center is marked by a monument dedicated to the rise of sea trade in the 19th century and the related harbour expansion. This was possible after a toll on sea trade on the Schelde river, imposed by the Netherlands, was lifted . The monument was erected in 1912, the square named after Baron August Lambermont who was the driving power in the negotiations.
Today, this square in in a district which is known as “trendy”. It is famous for an open air art market called “Lambertmontmartre”, taking place once a month on the square.
NEW ILLUSTRATION FROM THE CURRENT GENERATION OF ILLUSTRATORS demonstrates the degree to which an author's text can lead to formidable paintings on blanc canvas.
SWEETS FOR THE SWEET is a project of the Antwerp Municipal Library, NCJ/Villa Kakelbont , the Antwerp historical Commission and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp.
Most buildings in Antwerp are somewhat gothic or renaissance. There are, however, also a couple of buildings that are Art Nouveau, and also somehow Jugendstil. You'll find most of them in Antwerp South. The house on the picture was created by Victor Horta, famous for his art nouveau houses. You'll also enjoy the house called De Five Continents, which has a balcony that looks like a ship.
If you wander about in Antwerp South, you may suddenly find yourself surrounded by graffiti. But this isn't just any graffiti, it's true art. There are huge paintings made on old houses that are going to be demolished. Since the city is going to tear these buildings down anyway, they gave their permission for this graffiti. But if you want to see it, don't wait too long. Some parts have already been taken down.
The painting in the picture is a portret of Rubens, Antwerps most celebrated artist.
Sometimes it can happen that you turn a corner and without expecting it, you bounce against a nice piece of graffiti art.
I did so when Summer 2003, when I was waiting for visitors to arrive and I strolled along the area to pass the waiting time.
This is a partial panoramic picture of graffiti on a brick wall.
Panoramic picture! Pls click on it if you want to enjoy the full view
Those who like 'Art Nouveau' I know two houses you must see:
. 'de Vijf Werelddelen', also called the boat.
. 'het Liberaal Volkshuis Helpe U Zelve' .