On September 15th, GHA travelled to Antwerp for its annual study trip. Over 90 members of staff boarded the Eurostar, destination Belgium. After arriving into Antwerp’s magnificent Central Station, everyone checked into their hotel before heading to their Friday excursion. Staff enjoyed a variety of activities including a cycle tour of the city, a tour of the Museum ann de Stroom, designed by Neutelings Riedijk Architects, as well as a tour of the Zuid neighbourhood with local architect and tour guide Natacha Van Der Peer. Some chose to add an athletic dimension to the trip by cycling from Lille to Antwerp. Foregoing Friday’s excursions, they pedaled over 90 miles over the course of the day, in a tremendous effort and arrived in perfect time for dinner.
Our evening celebration took place at the memorable Grande Cafe Horta, named in honour of the Antwerp architect Victor Horta, in the Cafe’s Art Nouveau Hall, built from the re-purposed iron beams of Horta’s demolished People’s House in Brussels. Staff got the chance to celebrate in some of our recent success, try some local cuisine, and enjoy each others company.
On Saturday, staff enjoyed more educational excursions which included a cycling tour of some of Antwerp’s newest residential schemes, a tour of Zaha Hadid’s Port House and two walking tours in Antwerp’s Eilandje neighbourhood with a focus on concrete and re-purposed warehouses, led by Natacha.
We all had a fantastic time exploring the city and will be bringing some of Antwerp’s best ideas back to our Practice as inspiration for our current and future projects.
Dank u antwerp, we zullen terugkomen!