11 June 2012

a weekend in belgium #2

antwerp is a nice little city 35mn by train from brussels. i learned that the word antwerp means "hand throwing" with a strange story of a giant and a hero... (read here in wikipedia)

the central station is very beautiful, even worth of wedding pictures.

one of my friends lives there in a cool 3-storey art deco house he is renovating by himself. and i really mean renovating by himself. i was astonished: he is tearing down walls, building toilets and kitchen from scratch, renovating the roof, connecting sewer pipes, electricty, gas, boilers, you name it, alone or with help of his wife and father. everything he showed us he would say "oh, that's easy!" - setting up a bathroom from scratch? that's easy! escavating the basement and placing all the sewer pipes? that's easy! setting a new boiler? easy peasy! And then he tells me, we are architects, aren't we? oh my, I felt embarassed. He and his wife have been renovating the house while living there for 4 years now and they spent their first year in the basement without hot water (they warmed it in the stove for shower)! Last year things moved a little slower because... they had a baby! really, they are so cool and a bit crazy!

anyway we spent some time in their home but as the weather was sunny we cycled around the town, stopping for refreshments (of course, beer) and to check the new museum sensation - the MAS (Museum aan de Stroom - Museum on the River) by dutch architects neuteligs riedjik.


the building has that same crazy ondulated glass OMA used for Porto's "Casa da Música" and it's decorated with little hands (remember antwerp... hand throw...). if you go to the top and look down a weird image can be seen in the museum square...
check this website to learn more about the building and the museum.

we finished the day with a great dinner and... beer!

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