Disrupting public real estate

When the iconic OUDAAN building in the center of Antwerp was for sale, our imagination went wild! We wanted that top floor, the view is amazing and the building is the prettiest ugly building you’ve ever seen, built by Renaat Braem. A collective of sociologists, architects and city planners joined forces for the same reason and when they started communicating about their initiative to actually buy this building we just had to join.

Oudaan illustration of possible building layout
Oudaan: the prettiest ugly building you’ve ever seen, built by Renaat Braem

What the future holds…

In the end, their bid wasn’t high enough to actually buy the tower, but we soon realized that the OUDAAN tower was just the symbol of a new movement. Open source, crowdsourcing, cooperatives, sharing economy,… these buzzwords are not exclusively for online and digital, we have to pursue them in the offline world as well. That’s what we will continue to research with the collective: how can citizens shape the future of their city in a sustainable way. We will continue the quest for digital solutions to support the offline sharing economy and work towards more sustainable cities.

“Kortom willen we ervoor zorgen dat den Oudaan opnieuw een toren voor de stad kan worden, die een meerwaarde biedt voor zijn omgeving en een stedelijke revitalisering op gang kan brengen. We willen het ware gelaat van dit gebouw opnieuw tonen, zodat het alsnog zijn gedroomde plek als beeldbepalend baken in de stad krijgt, als één van de drie torens binnen de Leien naast Kathedraal en Boerentoren. ”

You can visit a retrospective exhibition about the work process of the OUDAAN collective in deSingel in Antwerp ’till januari. They will have a living-lab there, where they invite experts from all sectors and specialities to co-create the future of the collective.

The manifesto (in dutch) and all information and a documentary by Poolhert productions can be found here www.wekopendenoudaan.be


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