Introduction – The city gates of Antwerp were part of the Grote Omwalling and included several monumental structures. In 1907 this series of defensive positions were decommissioned. Several plans were made to transform this newly gained space. In 1914 the German invasion of Belgium forced the Belgian military to reoccupy most gates and barracks. Actual demolition of the Grote Omwalling took place in the late 60′ as the Antwerp ring road was constructed (E3 Project). All monumental gates were destroyed leaving only two pillars. Some road intersections on the Singel ring road still refer to the former gates.
In June 2014 the former post distribution center Antwerp X was demolished in order to allow a new training center of the Province of Antwerp to be built in its place. During these works remains of the former Spoorbaan Gate were discovered. Some emergency archeology was conducted on the site. After one week of excavations all trances were torn down.
MiLANT contributed to this project by taking pictures of the site and conducting some measurements of the unearthed evidence. Based on these readings a 3D model was created. It was one of the rare occasions that actual debris and material from the gates resurfaced.
The fort of Saint Philip (Fort Sint-Filips) is located near Kallo (Eastern-Flanders) on the right bank of the river Scheldt. It guarded the nautical access to the port of Antwerp. MiLANT takes a special interest in forts that are located near this river. They are considered to be maritime heritage sites and are unique. This fort is a true coastal battery with large caliber guns (280mm and 240mm) but unfortunately its remains are covered by sand. The site is polluted and very dangerous to access.
Based on photographs, schematics and oral feedback MiLANT has partly restored this fort to its former splendor. Initial drawings were made with SketchUp. Final rendering was carried out using V-RAY. Both programs are not in use by MiLANT since Autodesk 3DSMax and Octane Render are more suitable alternatives. It is our hope that this fort would one day be restored and used as a visiting center to the port of Antwerp or maritime heritage.
Introduction – Fort VI located in Wilrijk (University of Antwerp) is home to several recreational associations. Next to student societies a museum of the special forces of the Belgian Army is located on the site. Because the university has expanded during the last decade the demand for new accommodation became more urgent. After fruitful negotiations under auspices of ORC-A it was agreed upon that the caponniere of Fort VI would be restored. It would be the future home to the university’s sports association.
MiLANT contributed to this project by showing how a restored caponniere would look like. In an initial phase the whole building, walls and vaults were measured using laser meters. Based on some indicative drawings and maps an illustrator file (scale 1 to 1) was made and imported in Sketchup. Normally 3DSMax would be used to do most of the virtual reconstruction but this was not possible because of the agreed deadline. The model was ported into Octane Render and some native material was applied (based on initial Substance Designer files made earlier). The final results were presented to the university and the special forces association. Some months later the caponniere welcomed a wider audience.