Antwerp is one of the most important ports in all of Europe, the city is also considered the diamond capital of the world and this flood of wealth has shaped its streetscape since the 16th century.
Though small by international standards, the Flemish city is rich in culture, dotted with Art Deco enclaves, 18th-century townhouses, Baroque beauties and art galleries filled with Flemish masters. It’s also given rise to fashion designers including Dries Van Noten, Dirk Bikkembergs, Ann Demeulemeester, Walter Van Beirendonck and Marina Yee, and Martin Margiela, and has a thriving electronic music scene.
Antwerp also has the architecture to match, from 18th-century townhouses to modernist homes that experiment with light. Here are five of our favourite Antwerp properties on the market right now.
Verstrepen House by Léon Stynen in Boom
6 bedrooms; €995,000 via Architecten Woning
Léon Stynen was one of Belgium’s greatest 20th-century architects, though is less well known beyond the country’s borders. The Antwerp native designed a number of modernist landmarks across his home city and Flanders including Verstrepen House in the suburb of Boom.
The boxy brick six-bedroom home was built in 1927 and Verstrepen House has been recently refurbished. All its original modernist elements have been carefully preserved, including its carved staircase, giant steel-framed windows and geometric floor tiles, Art Deco door handles and carved cabinetry and wall panels.
An apartment in Antwerp’s historical centre
1 bedroom; 65 sqm; €295,000 via Belgium Sotheby’s Realty
This Belgium property is located in the historical centre of Antwerp’s old town, and the 65 sqm apartment is split across two levels. The master bedroom – complete with a classic freestanding bathtub – fill the open mezzanine level overlooking the open living space below.
The space has been painted a sage green shade that heightens its historic feel. Plenty of natural light flows through the building’s double-height windows, while rooms have high, decorated ceilings, parquet flooring and marble fireplaces. The Antwerp apartment also has access to a communal courtyard garden.
Converted theatre in Antwerp’s city centre
5 bedrooms; €1.79m via Belgium Sotheby’s Realty
Belgian architect J A Hompus constructed this sprawling 7,000 sq ft Antwerp townhouse as a hotel in 1866. More recently, the city centre property was the home for satirical theatre company De Zwarte Komedie (Black Comedy), and the designated Flanders monument has undergone a top-to-toe renovation.
A striking staircase ascends the height of the four-storey townhouse, which is being marketed as a single-family home, or licensed as five residential units, an office and a workshop on the street level.
The mansion’s original facade has been reinstated while interior details, including period mouldings, fireplaces and decorative elements, have been restored and timber beams and brickwork left exposed in the attic level. Take a closer look.
1970s villa with indoor pool
5 bedroom; €895,000 via Engel & Voelkers
Those seeking an interiors project can sink their teeth into this five-bedroom home on the border of Lier and Boechout in Southern Antwerp. The 306 sqm home includes a cellar, indoor swimming pool, sauna and garden, and has undergone a number of renovations to its original 1978 shell.
The living room is the star of the show, featuring a pitched, timber trussed ceiling and white-washed brickwork. Other rooms could use a refresh and are currently decorated in a cacophony of colours. Look past the decor, however, and the property has good bones with great natural light.
Grand duplex townhouse in Antwerp’s Harmonie
6 bedrooms; €1.3m via Belgium Sotheby’s Realty
This grand six-bedroom building in Antwerp’s Harmonie is presently split into the main home and two apartments, though it’s being marketed by Sotheby’s with the opportunity to connect the units to create one large house.
A sweeping stone staircase accesses all levels of the 500 sq m Harmonie property, which features high ceilings, tall sash windows that channel natural light into its interiors, 19th-century mouldings and parquet flooring. The handsome townhouse also has terrace balconies and a private garden.