City History Museum MAS

The MAS city history museum of Antwerp (BE), situated in the old harbor, is a sixty-meter-high tower of stacked exhibition galleries. Each level is rotated ninety degrees with respect to the last, producing a spiraling route around the galleries, a vertical promenade from the public square to the roof. Outside the galleries, vistas across the contemporary city unfold through the undulating glass, while stories of the city’s history are told within. The museum is faced in a random pattern of hand-quarried Indian sandstone. A veil of silver-colored hands affixed to the elevation symbolizes the myth of Antwerp’s genesis and enlivens the matte red stone. Inside, the pattern of hands is echoed by medallions featuring a graphic design by Tom Hautekiet and a roundel poem by Tom Lanoye set into the floor, walls and ceiling. The public square with a large mosaic in front of the museum has been designed in collaboration with the renowned Belgian artist Luc Tuymans.

The MAS is a vertical promenade from the public square to the roof. The stories of the city’s history are told along the route.

Project data


Hanzestedenplaats, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium


Museum, Restaurant, Party Room, Pavilions, Plaza

Surface Area

20.000 m2 floor surface, 1.500 m2 outdoor construction

Year Of Completion



Dutch Design Award, Nomination Mies van der Rohe Award, Belgium Steel Construction Award, AIT Award


Architectural Design
Neutelings Riedijk Architects
Architectural Engineering
Bureau Bouwtechniek
Medaillions: Tom Lanoye (text) and Tom Hautekiet (design), Plaza mosaic: Luc Tuymans
Building Physics
Peutz bv ingenieuze adviseur
City of Antwerp in cooperation with AG Vespa
Main Contractor
Marcq & Roba
Sarah Blee, Scagliola Brakkee
Structural Engineer
ABT België