Cadix Housing is a new residential building over six levels and comprises a mix of 27 triplex, duplex, and single level homes, commissioned by the housing association Woonhaven Antwerpen.
The brief was for an apartment building in the area surrounding Antwerp’s old docks as part of the urbanism strategy set out for their redevelopment.
Sitting within the rugged industrial context of the old docks, the new brick building needed to be a robust addition to the neighbourhood that could hold its own against the sturdiness of its historic neighbours.
Its masonry volume is softened by the refined detailing of its architectural metalwork, ranging from windows and doors to gates and balustrades, which present a finer character to the parts of the building that residents come into contact with.
There were several strands to the thought process that resulted in galvanizing being specified for the important communal design features in the building.
Foremost amongst these was the direct and unpretentious nature of the finish, together with its attractive material qualities. Combined with the relative cost of galvanizing compared with other materials and finishes that can work within the same constraints of budget, longevity, material strength, and aesthetic appeal, it offered unparalleled value for this 100% affordable housing project.
Seen up close the understated variegations in patina provide an attractive depth of expression, which complements the equally rich surrounding materials of brickwork and cast stone. As these are the parts of the building that will be touched and experienced through the act of living here, the fact that the galvanized finishes will dull or polish dependent on use and wear, will add a further layer of refinement to this appearance as the building ages.
Read the case study about Cadix by Stephen Taylor Architects