Antwerp from above: best view in the city

Hello Hello! After posting this blogpost with only photos I’m finally writing some text here * lowers head with shame*

I think I’m starting to sound like a broken record… but did you know I like to visit the best viewpoints  when I visit a city?  If not you can check out the blogposts that I did for other cities like Lisbon’s best views and  Bruges from above.

Continuing with this edit, here it is: the best view in Antwerp aka The MAS.

PS: Did I mention that is free? Well at least the views – including the top floor – the exhibition it’s not.



Isn’t it beautiful? I saw and heard about this building at many studio classes presentations. It was always used as an example for good contemporary architecture. It felt very unreal when I saw it in person.

I’m glad to say it met all the expections I had.

Scheldt river had always and still has a major role in Antwerp. Quoting the oficial MAS website  “As a city on a river, Antwerp has attracted people from all over the world for centuries. Throughout the centuries, people met exchanging ideas and goods. Traces of these encounters are collected in the MAS.

The site for this building couldn’t be more appropriate to represent these encounters . Located along the river Scheldt and right next to the docks.  Neutelings Riedijk Architects designed a 60 metres tower made of Indian red sandstone and curved glass panels that’s makes quite a impression when you first see it.The museum was used as an example at my classes for the way it took the shape of containers depots, tipically from docks,  and created a storehouse inspired museum. Genius right?

This just shows how architecture can and  should take elements from the past and make them contemporary. Its what I consider “good architecture”. The design it’s not cheasy or cringe looking but instead it tells the story of the city.




The inside is just as amazing as the outside. According to the architects Each level is twisted 90 degrees to form a giant spiral

The stacked containers became exhibition spaces creating a vertical journey with two parallel momentum. The one through the panoramas of Antwerp that open up in every floor in different directions. The second one through the exhibition itself about the history of Antwerp.

Notice how on the small midle picture above theres no diference between the inside and the outside pavement? Mies van der Rohe used to say God is the details” and here it is! The simple decision to use the same material creates a connection and a link between the outside and the inside, the exterior and the interior, The Building and The City.

Square, docks and tower are design to form on contiunous space for exhibitons and events




Finishing at the top… The 360º viewpoint. The best view in Antwerp. Again it’s free!

I arrived mid-afternoon and just knew this was the first building I wanted to visit. A winter chilly but sunny day and the sun started to set. I couldn’t asked for more…


For the next post I’m going to continue the Favourite Train Station series like I wrote for Lisbon but this time about the amazing Antwerp Central Station!

Hope you like it!

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