Friday 6 May 2011

Past and Present No. 4: Boerentoren, Antwerp

When built in 1924 this was Europe’s tallest building and the first to exhibit a classic Manhattan profile. Twenty four floors and a steel frame crowned with an advert for De Beukelaer chicory. Completed less than two decades after the Neo-Baroque extravaganza Station-Centraal it seems to belong to a new era while sharing the same ambition and sense of local pride. Embedded in Antwerp’s eclectic cityscape any initial sense of incongruity has faded as the tower, now named for the KBC bank, has taken on a period air with cuboid caryatids over the main entrance. Shells and a V2 rocket struck the tower during the last war and in 1976 it was extended by an additional two floors. There are more details to be found at

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