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Antwerp Opera

Location Antwerp, Belgium
Timeline 2003 - 2006

renovation opera house


This listed monument once again meets the comfort requirements of a contemporary public and complies with safety regulations, through extensive renovation, restoration and extension. The new techniques were seamlessly integrated into the existing context. For the opera hall, the displacement ventilation with free cooling makes use of existing floor grilles. With a new loading and unloading quay and side stage, the opera was able to thoroughly expand its range.

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  • Flemish Opera
  • Robbrecht en Daem architecten
1300 places
7145 m²


Without damaging the valuable interior in any way, a new system of displacement ventilation system was designed and integrated seamlessly.

Hospitality antwerpen opera 4 web

During the year 2003, VK realised a thorough audit of the existing technical installations in this listed building opera building. This research presented 2 conclusions: the existing facilities no longer met the current fire and safety regulations. Furthermore, the existing facilities could not ensure the comfort a present day opera visitor expects from an opera house.

As a result, it was decided to renew all technical installations and to reserve the necessary budget. The integration of state-of-the-art technical installations in a building with high historical importance and an extremely valuable interior was an enormous challenge for VK. Especially the great hall with approximately 1,300 seats was a complex assignment. Without damaging the valuable interior in any way, a new system of displacement ventilation system was designed and integrated seamlessly. The system is based on free cooling and allows for the room temperature to be regulated precisely within the boundaries of comfort to be expected in a modern opera house.

Simultaneously, an empty bank building near the Opera House was renovated by ING. The project is divided into catering and apartments, but also creates new space for the opera. This is due to the fact that part of the former bank building houses the logistics functions, ticket desk and the grand café of the opera. Moreover, a new loading and unloading bay was also constructed here.

A new building, which replaces two dilapidated dwellings, includes a side stage that is directly connected to the loading and unloading bay. In this way, the Flanders Opera in Antwerp is able to thoroughly expand its offering and anchor its presence firmly in the urban landscape.

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