The Dageraadplaats is located in the Zurenborg district, between the Antwerp-Berchem and Antwerp-Central train stations. Before the redevelopment, the issue of the square was the poor state of the pavement and the poor state of health of the many chestnut trees on the one hand, while on the other hand the location presented a social challenge. The presence of the monumental trees gave the square an unprecedented appeal to the local residents and making it a lively centre where cultural background, age or other prejudices, play no role.
In the design it was therefore decided to keep as many trees as possible in the redevelopment of the square. However, these have not been kept within their current, rectangular pattern, but have been ‘let go’ through the reorganization of the square, as free trees in the centre of the square. Along both sides, two activity strips have been provided in black basalt cobblestones, where all possible street furniture has been grouped. These strips are flanked by two rows of marsh oak trees, which in a few decades’ time, when the chestnut trees have disappeared, will be able to take over their role.
The strips’ divide the square into three zones: the edge zone in granite mosaic cobblestones, where the terraces are located for the surrounding cafes and restaurants, the activity strips, and a central square in solid concrete slabs that serves as a multifunctional stage for life in the city. Here, the youth is able to play basketball under the approving eye of the people on the surrounding terraces. The whole forms a polyvalent square, adaptable to the needs that arise, in the shade of majestic chestnut trees and a light construc-tion that simulates the hidden starry sky above.