De Meester | Architects

Meet the renowned architects that colour the Antwerp streetscape. You can find our offer per architect here as well.

By Architect

Tony Fretton Architects

British practice Tony Fretton Architects was founded in 1982 and is led by Tony Fretton and Jim McKinney. The practice has established a renowned international reputation for high design quality and professionalism. They are open to clients' ideas, insights and needs and respond creatively and with depth of thought.

Tony Fretton Architects has a renowned international reputation with both residential projects and cultural buildings. Internationally, they deliver best practice in design, organisation and construction. They deliver consistent design quality and project delivery in relation to local regulations and culture. Their body of work ranges from embassies, governmental and commercial offices, quality residences to art galleries and cultural buildings. They have a proven aptitude in exceeding their clients' expectations. This results in sustainable and pleasant use of the buildings with social and economic benefits both within the building and the adjacent public realm.

The design for the Lisson Gallery in London, completed in 1986 and 1992, is known internationally as a paragon of exhibition space for art, for the architectural experience they create and their social engagement with the surrounding city. These three aspects - exemplary functioning of space, creating an enjoyable experience and establishing fruitful interaction with the environment - are the underlying motifs in all their subsequent work.

AWG Architecten

AWG architecten cvba has a core group of 9 partners: Geert Driesen, Filip Delanghe, Christine de Ruijter, Jan Verrelst, Ilse Van Berendoncks, Peter Van doninck, Maarten Verdonschot, Maarten Van Weverberg and Tim van der Wegen, surrounded by a multidisciplinary team of some 25 employees. awg architecten works on a wide variety of urban development and architecture assignments, both at home and abroad.


Founded by bOb Van Reeth - one of the most important innovators of architecture in Flanders - in 1976 as the ArchitectenWerkGroep (AWG) and re-established in 2001 as awg architecten cvba, the firm can now boast a long and rich tradition. Tradition is not stagnation. Tradition is steady progress and continually building in and on continuity. 'Everything that is not tradition is plagiarism,' Stravinsky once stated.


Our tradition determines our attitude towards our work, our profession. On the one hand, this makes awg an established and experienced agency that can offer guarantees in terms of knowledge, approach and quality. On the other hand, awg is a driven and innovative agency that takes a project-specific approach to every assignment, always starting from a broad context (place, time, culture). Awg designs structures as intelligent shells: structures in which time can play out. Nothing is as ephemeral as function and use. Structures that allow changeable use, buildings and structures that can be recovered by successive generations, survive time and are time-proof (and therefore sustainable).


BINST ARCHITECTS stands for the best of almost 50 years of experience and expertise, supported by a modern and dynamic approach that focuses on the powerful evolution of the construction medium and innovative cooperation models. As ‘architects of tomorrow’, they aim to focus on innovative working methods, optimized housing and reinforced infrastructure that is more than contemporary.


As architects, their daily task is to increase awareness of urban ideas and architecture in a broad sense, as the future tools par excellence with regard to housing, working and the cultural life of the future, in short, as a medium for modern society. The things around us are becoming increasingly intertwined, and the experiential element is key! BINST ARCHITECTS wishes to contribute to this experiential level from the outset, and therefore in the project definition, and to express it in dialogue with our clients, all building parties involved, the City and its residents.


BINST ARCHITECTS strives for architecture that daily embodies ‘abstract expressionism’, characterized by a healthy balance between intelligent restraint and controlled expression! In short, ‘positive architecture’, originating from smart plans in line with the market to current, controlled urban architecture and relevant iconic landmarks that are unique.

M2 Architecten

M2 architects is a multidisciplinary architectural office based in Antwerp with 20 employees and a range of projects throughout the Flemish landscape.

The office has been active for more than 15 years in (medium) large development projects: housing, office construction, utility construction, industrial construction and renovations. The work is mainly commissioned by urban developers, SMEs, social housing companies, governments, multinationals and investment groups. With years of expertise, the office guarantees continuous follow-up from the first concept sketch to the last implementation detail.

M2 Architects views the design process as a constant endeavor to assimilate a range of diverse parameters. Good architecture is created from an optimal balance between program, concept, construction and design. The right choice of materials, implantation, orientation and program arrangement creates sustainable buildings that are grafted onto a long-term philosophy. Flexibility is the starting point for interpreting and conceiving a program.

Planning and budget are closely monitored and thorough (site) monitoring guarantees continuous quality control. The core activities are always worked out in-house with expertise. Where the situation requires it, external complementary partners are sought for technical support. A permanent pool of engineers and technicians is available for stability, techniques, epb regulations and acoustics.

As a reliable partner over the years, the firm has built up a solid base of returning regular clients from the local real estate market.


Poponcini & Lootens started life as an architecture firm. But since their transformation into POLO they cover much more ground. This evolution brought with it a more proactive attitude, going beyond the typically reactive role of the architect responding to a client’s brief.

Yet “simply” designing good buildings will always be an indelible part of their identity. With an extensive track record of built projects, they find the time is right to put into words what consitutes architectural quality for them and how they go about achieving it.

Reflecting on their work and examining their motives and strategies is essential to keep evolving as a practice. This means determining the elements that shape their design process and highlighting some of the common characteristics of POLO’s buildings: context, carft, structure-poetry, flexibility-identity and style.

It is a snapshot of their current thinking, of the ongoing open-ended discussion they are having in order to continue making original and innovative contributions to their built environment.

Robbrecht & Daem

The architectural firm Robbrecht en Daem architecten was founded in 1975 and has carried out a variety of commissions over 50 years. The common thread throughout their work is the relationship they maintain from their architectural designs to the visual arts. They have also created designs for buildings serving the performing arts and music. Even in their scientific-technical designs such as the laboratories they designed, the confrontation with contemporary art is present. Robbrecht and Daem's architecture wishes to take a distinctly contemporary and humane position where their buildings relate to a broad cultural context of sciences and arts.

Robbrecht and Daem architects have designed major urban planning and landscape projects. But also restorations such as the Whitechapel Gallery in London.  Director Iwona Blazwick says: "Paul Robbrecht has said that he wanted to 'create unforgettable spaces,' not by knocking down walls and carving white cubes out of the old Victorian building, but by keeping its existing, history-soaked rooms and re-designing their usage."


The firm has gradually grown, recruited specialised staff and increasingly engaged in public commissions in Flanders and abroad. Examples include: The Documentapavilions in Kassel (Germany), the Katoen Natie in Antwerp, Sammlung Hauser und Wirth in Sankt Gallen (Switzerland), the Museumplein and the Deep Fountain at the Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, the Concertgebouw in Bruges, The Whitechapel Art Gallery in London (England), the restoration of the Boekentoren in Ghent, the masterplan and new reception building for the Rubenshuis in Antwerp, the new exhibition hall BRUSK in Bruges and the repurposing of the Beursgebouw in Brussels.

META architectuurbureau

META architecture office is headed by directors Niklaas Deboutte and Eric Soors. The office is located in Antwerp and holds a team of 15 employees.

For META, architecture is a craft that requires craftsmanship. That way, every design issue can be given a comprehensive solution without having to take the easy way or the well-trodden path. The designs may therefore be petulant or resistant or even wriggle, but they always make building simple, even obvious.

As a designer and builder, META takes the liberty of being ambitious. To design a building as correctly as possible so that function and infill become simply adaptable. To use a design to let a building write its own unpredictable history and future.

META has already won several architecture awards, including the Belgian Architecture Award and the Belgian Building Award.

Michel Desvigne

French landscape architect Michel Desvigne was and is active in France, Italy, Japan and Belgium, among other countries. His work includes major public projects such as the TGV station and SNCF viaduct in Avignon, the Ministry of Culture and the European Parliament in Strasbourg as well as private realizations. He regularly collaborates with renowned architects such as Herzog & de Meuron, Norman Foster, Richard Rogers and Stéphane Beel. His work has been the subject of numerous publications and regular exhibitions such as Projets d'infrastructure en Europe in Venice and Territoires partagés, l'archipel métropolitain in Paris.


Desvigne is happy to bring his experience and enthusiasm to bear on the Western Quay project. "I tried to imagine what landscape should ideally shape these magnificent quays by playing with their beauty and surface," he says. "Therefore, I chose a unified aesthetic, far from the stereotype, and using well-preserved environmental elements." Desvigne therefore placed his landscaping, as it were, "on top" of the existing infrastructure with its maritime character, allowing the greenery that will be planted to further emphasize the vastness of the environment, rather than completely occupying the sense of space as so often happens. " Therefore, in addition to 5 large gardens, which will rhythm the surroundings, 'micro plantings' will be used," Desvigne states. "These will further accentuate the authenticity of existing cobblestone paths, for example. In this way, with relatively small but very well thought-out interventions, a great sense of greenery will still be created and in such a way that the mighty docks retain their appearance."

David Chipperfield Architects

Museums, art galleries, private homes, offices, commercial spaces, large-scale urbanization projects and even furniture design: that's how far the horizons of David Chipperfield Architects, a 200-employee international firm with four offices that has projects around the world, reach.

David Chipperfield gained great fame for his design for the Neues Museum and the proposal for the master plan for Berlin's Museum Island in the 1990s. Other realizations in the cultural sector include the Figge Arts Center in Davenport and the Des Moines Public Library, both in the US. He also realized the Bryant Park Hotel in New York and The Empire Riverside Hotel in Hamburg. Again, these realizations garnered admiration, notwithstanding that they are in a completely different domain.

As an architect, Chipperfield always respects "what is”. In his own words, this is why David Chipperfield Architects was so fascinated by the possibilities of the Westkaai project. It would give the area around the Eilandje a new dynamic without denying its past. With the same philosophy, the firm has won several competitions in recent years, especially for large-scale cultural projects in Italy. These include the extension of the San Michele cemetery in Venice, the new Salerno courthouse and the restoration of the Arsenale in Verona by David Chipperfield Architects.

The firm won more than 100 international awards and recognitions such as from the Royal Institute of British Architects, Royal Fine Art Commission and the American Institute of Architects, as well as the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2007 and the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award in 2011. David Chipperfield received the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 2011 and the Japan Art Association's Praemium Imperiale in 2013, in recognition of his work.

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