Groen Kwartier (Green Quarter) is the result of an extensive redevelopment of the former Military Hospital and its surrounding grounds and premises. Located in the Haringrode neighbourhood situated in between Berchem and Zurenborg, the former Military Hospital became an opportunity to create a centrally located urban neighbourhood. The result is an urban quarter with a combination of historic and newly built residential buildings in an almost car free setting. The former chapel has been transformed into a two Michelin-star restaurant The Jane operated by famous chef Sergio Hermans. A Delhaize city concept supermarket and a bakery with café add to the neighbourhood amenities. The former boiler house has been transformed into a co-work office space. And directly connected to Groen Quartier, the Pakt area popped up, a redevelopment project including creative startup offices, various F&B and a fitness.
Developers Vanhaerents and Matexi City Projects, supported by architects Stéphane Beel and Lieven Achtergael and their team, succeeded to develop an urban quarter in which history and contemporary concepts sit nicely next to each other, and where a mixture of functions create a living urban quarter. The near absence of cars makes the quarter a true walk-able area. This eye-catching project won several prices so far because of its sustainable and durable urban concept.
The site of the Military Hospital was vacant for almost 10 years after the army left the premises in the mid 1990s. Plans were discussed to demolish the complex with exception of the chapel and to transform the whole area into residential, as a response to the growing demand for housing in Antwerp. However, under influence of Haringrode neighbourhood residents and urbanists, there was a growing awareness of the value of the former military hospital complex, a unique ensemble of medical and surgery buildings around a chapel in a campus style setting. The complex,built in the second half of the 19th century, was an important element in the 19th century pre-World War I defence strategy for Antwerp. The result was development competition which emphasised the creation of an urban area in which history would be combined with contemporary urban needs.
With 450 dwellings, an underground parking garage, and the the addition of other functions including The Jane restaurant and a neighbourhood supermarket, the Groen Kwartier is among the most significant developments in Antwerp in the post millennium years.