Boerentoren - KBC Toren, Antwerp

14 Reviews

Schoenmarkt 35 2000 Antwerpen +32/03/2029011

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  • Boerentoren - KBC Toren
    by mallyak
  • Boerentoren - Antwerp
    Boerentoren - Antwerp
    by pieter_jan_v
  • Boerentoren - KBC Toren
    by DanielF
  • mallyak's Profile Photo

    KBC Tower

    by mallyak Written Aug 12, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In the run-up to the 1930 Antwerp World Exhibition, the first European skyscraper was built in the center of Antwerp. The tower, constructed at a site which was cleared by bombardments during the first world war, was to be a monumental building, but one of the requirements given by the city council was that the building should not compete with the city's cathedral. A special council consisting of prominent architects had to give the approval before the tower could be built. Today, the requirement for not obstructing the view on the cathedral still exists in Antwerp.

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  • DanielF's Profile Photo

    Visit a pioneer, the Farmers Tower

    by DanielF Updated Dec 17, 2007
    3 more images

    Antwerp claims to have the first skyscraper ever erected in Europe: the Boerentoren (Farmers Tower). It owes its name to the fact that it was commissioned by the farmers' cooperative bank in 1929.

    Although the building is not very tall (slightly less than 100 metres), it does qualify as skyscraper and is still an interesting piece of architecture, inspired by the magnificent Art deco buildings that were thriving in Manhattan at the time.

    The building is now owned by a different bank, whose giantic logo tops the roof.

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  • KenBel's Profile Photo

    Antwerp's own "skyscraper"

    by KenBel Updated Feb 16, 2007


    When the Boerentoren ("Farmer's Tower") was built, there were many discussions in city-hall between the governing socialists (together with the christian-democrats) and the liberal opposition, as the "Algemeene Bankvereeniging" (or General Banking Union", the offices of which was going to occupy more than half of the tower) was know to be firmly backed by the Boerenbond (Farmer's Union). This immediately explains the towers name. It is clear that criticism not only originated in esthetic or folkloric concerns. Especially the liberal press firmly criticized the construction of the tower, which would become the highest livingcomplex in Europe until the 1950's : Europe's first "skyscraper".

    Originally the distribution of the Boerentoren or "Farmer's tower" also included appartments and shops. However, because of the economic recess and belated termination of construction, interest in the appartments faded away. Almost the complete building, constructed in Art-Deco style in 1930/31 would come to be in the hands of the Banker's Union that became the KB-tower (KredietBank) later on. Today a C has been added after a merger of the KB bank with a few smaller Belgian banks.

    After the liberation of Antwerp in september 1944, the tower was hit by 50 grenades and a few months later by a German V-bomb. In the 1970's it burnt quite heavily. Suffice it to say that it has been renovated a few times.
    The last time was less than ten years ago.

    On the ground floor of the tower, the Bank organizes expositions the whole year through, mostly photographic.

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  • yashiko's Profile Photo

    Boerentoren (KBC-tower)

    by yashiko Updated Jun 23, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Boerentoren

    In the run-up to the 1930 Antwerp World Exhibition, the first European skyscraper was built in the center of Antwerp. The Boerentoren was constructed at a site which was cleared by bombardments during the first world war. It was to be a monumental building, but one of the requirements given by the city council was that the building should not compete with the city's cathedral. A special council consisting of prominent architects had to give the approval before the tower could be built.

    At the time construction was completed, the originally 87.5 meters high tower was the highest in Europe. The skyscraper was built after contemporary high-rise constructions in New York and Chicago. It was also one of the first buildings in Europe which made use of a load-carrying structural frame, also originating from Chicago. The tower has an Art Deco-style facade and contained several marvelous rooms with Art Deco decorations. Plans in the late sixties to destroy the tower were set aside and the building was restored between 1970 and 1976. After the restoration the tower reached a height of 97 meters.

    Originally the tower was built as a multifunctional building and consisted of offices as well as apartments. With the restoration, all the apartments were removed and the tower is now only used as an office building. In 1981, the 'Boerentoren' became a protected monument. Actually the 'Boerentoren' (= farmers tower) is named after the farmers who were the most important clients of the bank resident in the tower in the first half of the 20th century.

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  • Diana75's Profile Photo

    KBC Tower

    by Diana75 Written Jan 5, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    With an initial height of 87.5 meters, KBC Tower, in the centre of Antwerp, was the first European skyscraper. Following to the restructuring works held between 1970 and 1976, the tower reached a height of 97 meters.
    The tower has an Art Deco-style facade and contains several rooms with Art Deco decorations.
    In 1981, the KBC tower became a protected monument.
    The tower is nicknamed Boerentoren or 'Farmer's tower' as the bank's most important shareholder at the time was a farmers cooperation. The official name of the tower is now the KBC tower as the name of the largest bank of Flanders.

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  • belgianchocolate's Profile Photo

    ARCHITECTURE - Tower number two...kbc-tower

    by belgianchocolate Updated Dec 21, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Boerentoren


    This tower is considered as the first skyscraper
    in Europe .Building him took three years
    and started in 1929. Now he is 97 m high
    and the second tower that dominates the
    skyline of Antwerp.

    The style is Art deco/art modern. Have a
    closer look at the statues that bear the
    building. It was only in 1975 that the last 9.5
    meters where build on top.

    The tower is known as the 'Boerentoren'.
    Literal translated as farmers tower since it
    used to house a bank that gave credit to the
    farmers.


    At the feet of this tower you will find some
    cash machines and on the ground floor
    there are often free exhibits.

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  • xiquinho's Profile Photo

    KBC Tower

    by xiquinho Written Oct 19, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    KBC Tower

    In the run-up to the 1930 Antwerp World Exhibition, the first European skyscraper was built in the center of Antwerp. The tower, constructed at a site which was cleared by bombardments during the first world war, was to be a monumental building, but one of the requirements given by the city council was that the building should not compete with the city's cathedral. A special council consisting of prominent architects had to give the approval before the tower could be built. Today, the requirement for not obstructing the view on the cathedral still exists in Antwerp.

    At the time construction was completed, the originally 87.5 meters high tower was the highest in Europe.
    The skyscraper was built after contemporary high-rise constructions in New York and Chicago. It was also one of the first buildings in Europe which made use of a load-carrying structural frame, also originating from Chicago. The tower has an Art Deco-style facade and contained several marvelous rooms with Art Deco decorations. Plans in the late sixties to destroy the tower were set aside and the building was restored between 1970 and 1976. After the restoration the tower reached a height of 97 meters.

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  • OlafS's Profile Photo

    The Boerentoren

    by OlafS Updated May 27, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Antwerpen: Boerentoren

    Antwerpen has a skyscraper. They built this thing in 1929-1932 and it was immediately compared to Stalinist architecture. I don't think it's ugly, it's in fact far superior to every skyscraper I've seen anywhere else (i.e. Tilburg, Rotterdam), but the location in the centre of an old city is just plain wrong. When I admire a city skyline I want to see churchtowers and old stuff. Not some officebuilding. It would already be a big improvement if they removed the big logo on top.

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  • tompt's Profile Photo

    Boerentoren

    by tompt Written Feb 15, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Boerentoren, Antwerp

    After WWI the Volksbank from Leuven wanted to get control of Flanders. Ground was bought at 7 augustus 1928, to built the largest concrete building in that time. Architect was Jan Robert Vanhoenacker, assisted by Jos Smolderen, who was specialising in interior decoration and the facade, and Emiel Van Averbeke, advising for the citycouncil.
    The building was called the Boerentoren(farmerstower), because it was the farmersunion who were clients of the bank.
    The tower is maybe the ugliest building in Antwerp, but considering it was the largest concrete building (97 meter high) in the early 1930's it is worth looking at.

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  • Pavlik_NL's Profile Photo

    A monument = yes ... beautiful = NO

    by Pavlik_NL Written Nov 2, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The

    The Boeren"-tower is actually the first "skyscratcher built on Europe's mainland. It houses the headquarters of the KBC, which is the farmers bank of Belgium. Therefor also it is called the "Boeren" (which means "farmers") tower. It rises 88 metres up in the air and has 24 stores. A record in the 1930-ies, when it was built. It's beauty however can be discussed. Most find it an ugly block, poluting the beauty of Antwerpen centre.

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  • speed4turtles's Profile Photo

    Antwerpen Boerentoren

    by speed4turtles Updated Aug 22, 2003
    Farmerstower

    Deze volledig metalen constructie, die tot het topje werd afgewerkt voor er een steen aan te pas kwam, dateert van 1930 en was toen de eerste wolkenkrabber van het Europese vasteland. De toren is 88 m hoog en telt 24 verdiepingen.
    Heb ook oog voor wat nog rest van de 19de-eeuwse eclectische gevels en voor monumenten als het voormalig Koninklijk Paleis of het Osterriethhuis.

    In the run-up to the 1930 Antwerp World Exhibition, the first European skyscraper was built in the center of Antwerp. The tower, constructed at a site which was cleared by bombardments during the first world war, was to be a monumental building, but one of the requirements given by the city council was that the building should not compete with the city's cathedral. A special council consisting of prominent architects had to give the approval before the tower could be built. Today, the requirement for not obstructing the view on the cathedral still exists in Antwerp.

    At the time construction was completed, the originally 87.5 meters high tower was the highest in Europe.
    The skyscraper was built after contemporary high-rise constructions in New York and Chicago. It was also one of the first buildings in Europe which made use of a load-carrying structural frame, also originating from Chicago. The tower has an Art Deco-style facade and contained several marvelous rooms with Art Deco decorations. Plans in the late sixties to destroy the tower were set aside and the building was restored between 1970 and 1976. After the restoration the tower reached a height of 97 meters.
    The tower is nicknamed Boerentoren or 'Farmer's tower' as the bank's most important shareholder at the time was a farmers cooperation. The official name of the tower is now the KBC tower as the current main tenant is the KBC, the largest bank of Flanders.

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  • steventilly's Profile Photo

    Farmers Tower

    by steventilly Written Feb 25, 2003
    Europe's First Tower Block

    The KBC bulding in the centre of Antwerp was the first "skyscraper" in europe - built around 1930. It gets its nickname from the fact that the bank was once the bank of a farmers cooperative. The headquarters of this bank, near Leuven, is also quite flambouyant. Seems they're not afraid to spend their money! :-)
    This building is quite a landmark in Antwerp and although not as tall as the Cathedral, it does seem more prominent. We learned to navigate by the position of this building!

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  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo

    The Boerentoren

    by pieter_jan_v Updated Dec 16, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Boerentoren - Antwerp
    1 more image

    The Boerentoren was the first skyscraper on mainland Europe. Construction of the 97 meter high building was finished in 1932.

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  • bjankovic's Profile Photo

    Boerentoren

    by bjankovic Written Feb 24, 2007

    The Boerentoren is the second tallest building of Antwerp and is the oldest skyscraper in Europe. It is not modern nor pretty but keep in mind it was built in 1931.

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