Photo of the week: Kaboom!


The old Samga grain tower at the port of Antwerp came down last weekend to make way for the Oosterweel link

Surprise blast

The last building standing on the old Samga storage and stevedoring site in Antwerp was brought down last weekend in a controlled explosion. The event was kept quiet in order to prevent onlookers from gathering in the area.

While the rest of the Samga buildings in the port area known as Noordkasteel were brought down with excavators, this would have taken six weeks in the case of the 57-metre-high concrete tower.

“Demolition with an excavator also posed more safety risks because the top floors were not accessible to the excavator arm,” explained Bart Van De Sijpe of Lantis, in charge of the Oosterweel link works.

The site is being cleared to make way for the Oosterweel project, which will link the Antwerp ring road, among other urban improvements. One of the Samga buildings will remain, however: The 1895 brick grain silo is considered industrial heritage and will be repurposed.

The demolished tower has produced nearly 42,000 tons of cement rubble and 4,100 tons of metal, all of which will be recycled. Some of it will be offered directly to other building projects.

Photo ©Jasper Jacobs/BELGA