Beyond its famed fashion and diamond districts, Antwerp is oozing with a wealth of culture. From Old Master Peter Paul Rubens’s house, Rubenshuis, to the decidedly more contemporary FotoMuseum, there’s enough here to keep you going for days. Here’s our pick of the best.
‘Het Huis’ Middelheimuseum
Designed by Robbrecht en Daem, Het Huis (The House) pavilion sits within the Middelheim Park amongst its various sculptures by the likes of Rodin, Ai Weiwei, Philippe Van Snick and Roman Signer. Constructed from green-painted steel, the semi-open pavilion features four vertical recesses which split the space into four and flood the structure with natural light. The site is used to host temporary exhibitions year-round.
Straddling the boundary between the city and the port, MAS (Museum aan de Stroom) is a cultural heritage forum that tells the story of Antwerp — past and present. The building itself was inspired by 16th-century storehouse with the nine floors stacked sporadically upon each other, with the façade of the building a mix of glass and Indian red stone. Inside, expect to find a collection of over 470,000 items which span art, archaeological finds, paintings, photography and ethnography.
Hanzestedenplaats 1, T 03 338 44 00, www.mas.be
Based in ModeNatie — Antwerp’s all-encompassing fashion emporium — the ModeMuseum is the city’s go-to for a comprehensive chronical of Belgian design. Also home to Fashion Department of the Academy, the building holds bi-annual exhibitions based on its permanent collection; a current showcase retrospectively looks at the work of local designer Dries Van Noten. Workshops, evening openings, visits, seminars are just a few reasons to head here, as is Copyright, the museum’s bookshop which specialises in tomes on fashion, design and art.
Nationalestraat 28, T +32 3 470 27 70, www.momu.be