Verbindingsbrug De Warande Turnhout

Design for a pedestrian bridge between Warandep'Ant and De Warande theatre.

  • © Filip Dujardin
  • © Filip Dujardin
  • © Filip Dujardin
  • © Filip Dujardin
  • © Filip Dujardin

Architect Paul Schellekens’ initial brutalist design for De Warande included a pedestrian bridge to provide a connection at first floor level between the offices, the theatre and the music academy – but the latter building was never realised. For this reason, the pedestrian bridge was only half built. Years later, Warandep’Ant was built on the spot where the music academy was supposed to have been built.
The connecting bridge for De Warande Turnhout runs right in the middle between the buildings on the Warande site. The increased significance and representativeness of this side of the site means that the connecting bridge is visually very present and determines the whole site image. This second facade is characterised on the one hand by the eclectic volume of Warandep'Ant, on the other hand by the monolithic shape of the theatre. Because of the way it was designed, the bridge is a reconciling, healing factor that manages to counter the fragmented nature of the complex components to a certain degree. This solution helps to literally bridge the gap between the contemporary architecture and the exponents of architecture from the previous century.
The pedestrian bridge consists of four steel main girders, spanning Warandep'Ant and the theatre, supported by a single column. By only minimally connecting these girders structurally with any closed walls, optimal transparency was achieved. The walls were finished in black steel sheets, as were the floor and the ceiling. The whole length of the girders has been placed at a slight angle, a solution imposed by the different height levels of the buildings.

client Province of Antwerp
location Turnhout, Belgium
period 2011-2012
procedure assignment
surface 80 m²
budget € 600 000
team Lieven Achtergael, Rein Bultynck, Axel Cayman, Kris Broidioi
i.c.w. Paridaens Ingenieurs (structural engineering), RCR Studiebureau (MEP engineering)