The former industrial BP site was demolished to allow for the necessary clean up. In future, the site of the old economy consisting of buildings and completely paved will be replaced by new buildings with the requisite green spaces in between and around them. To make this possible, the choice was made for a clustered development on the river Scheldt, where a landmark will be added to the Antwerp skyline, marking the end of the urban quays and of the city. In addition, on the site there will be a transition from this urbanity to a greener context that then merges into the Hoboken polder.
Light pollution is limited as much as possible by controlled lighting and adapted lighting facilities.
The choice to entwine this area with the economic fabric of the city was made and confirmed by the city and the Flemish government.
MCA is putting maximum effort into the redevelopment of the industrial area and the greening of the site. We will return 20% to nature and additional green facilities will be provided on the site.
MCA raises the standard considerably in terms of sustainability, energy efficiency and circularity for these buildings. A BREEAM outstanding and WELL platinum certification demonstrate this. The building's energy demand is fully covered by renewable energy. We will put maximum effort into energy generation from the Scheldt (Scheldt thermal power), BEO field (borehole energy storage) and PV panels. In the choice of materials, a life cycle approach and circularity are important. For example, some of the concrete from the old site will be reused in the new building.
The louvers for the glass in the tower provide for separation and partial shielding, so that there is less reflection. For the other glass parts, MCA wishes to apply special transparent stickers on the windows so that the birds do not fly into the windows. These are not visible to the human eye.
MCA will be a landmark for the city of Antwerp. In terms of symbolic value, this building should be able to co-exist on a par with the Port House. The Port House is approximately at the point where the city flows into the port. MCA will be the last construction on the right bank, close to the river Scheldt. This way, the city will be bordered by two symbolic maritime buildings.
MCA aims to link innovation in the European maritime sector to Antwerp, thereby strengthening the maritime sector. In that way, Antwerp's centuries-old activity is prepared for the future. MCA also wishes to be a place of significance for all Antwerp residents and people from the community, turning a depressed area into a place for the community.
Because of the unique green location of the site, it is obvious for MCA to focus on greening as much as possible. Due to its strategic objectives for a sustainable maritime sector, MCA wishes to extend this vision to the campus to helps realise these goals. Therefore, MCA aims to create a green business park with green buffer zones, a nature- and water corridor and various green zones on and next to the buildings. In order to support the local fauna, biodiversity and the ‘green’ concept, the buildings are designed to be nature-inclusive. The architecture used will make its contribution by using circular and local materials, as well as by its timeless and qualitative building concept providing green roofs, animal habitats and the intelligent shading of light sources.
No, the site is not a nature reserve. MCA will replace a completely built-up and polluted oil factory and will not take up any green space. On the contrary, we plan to return 20% of the entire site to nature in buffer zones and a green corridor.
MCA will be much more than an innovation centre. Everyone is welcome to come and walk and cycle there. A green corridor will be created in the middle of the campus, where people can enjoy nature. We are also thinking about building a running track and we are looking at what other sports needs we can fulfil. Furthermore, in the main building, there will be eating and drinking facilities open to all visitors. Next to the main building there will be a lookout point where everyone can admire the skyline of Antwerp from a height of sixteen metres above the river Scheldt. Finally, it will be possible to rent a room after office hours for associations and cultural & community activities.
The campus will be built with traditional materials such as concrete, aluminium and glass, but with maximum use of sustainable and circular designs or construction methods. In addition, all possible circular alternatives will be considered for known and less known applications.