Het Bos is a sequel to Scheld’Apen, an artist’s collective that was established in a squat at the former Petroleum South industrial site in Antwerp in 1998. The recent relocation to an empty municipal warehouse, located on the Eilandje, a stone’s throw from the Museum aan de Stroom, signalled an important turning point for the organisation, in terms of space, location and objectives. From a hidden refuge in the green outskirts where anything was possible, to the centre of the city where more order and rules apply. From casual, ad hoc joint activities to a new sort of institution where more structural relations can be established. BEL Architects converted this warehouse into an arts workshop, which, as a tribute to their roots, the Scheld’Apen renamed ‘Het Bos’ (the wood).
With the renovation of a warehouse into youth culture zone Het Bos young people get the opportunity to experiment, create and share ideas. All this in an artistic oasis where music, theater and visual arts are the three major components.
The existing warehouse was fitted with a large canopy that marks the entrance. The central void through the building reveals the program. An open staircase and walkways animate this space and connect all public levels together.
A concert hall (200p), a theater (80p) and an exhibition space are located in the middle of the building. The youth culture zone is further supplemented by a bar, kitchen, foyers, offices, ...
The building is multi-use and allows a diverse and constantly evolving program.
This text is based on an article by Els Vervloesem, published in Flanders Architectural Review N°12: Tailored Architecture.