DNA of the museum

The Red Star Line Museum
…is a place of remembrance
…on an authentic location
…with a narrative scenography
…aims to offer an experience
…is participatory
…is contemporary

To clarify things, the Red Star Line Museum

…brings forgotten history back to life
…is located on the spot where that history took place
…is a universal story about people
…is told from the perspective of those who experienced it
…works together with the general public 
…has one central question: what does this history mean today?

Foto: Michel Wuyts


Project's history

Establishing a museum takes a long time. The new museum got off to a start in 2000 when the City of Antwerp approved the list of buildings on the Eilandje that qualified as monuments. Since then a lot of partners have joined the project. Together they plotted out a course towards the autumn of 2013. That is when the Red Star Line Museum will open its doors.

2004 was a crucial year. Antwerp’s city council decided to turn the historic buildings of the Red Star Line shipping company into a place of remembrance that is open to the general public. One year later the city purchased three former Red Star Line warehouses from the Port Authority. The American architectural firm Beyer Blinder Belle Architects and Planners restored the buildings and designed the interior. At that time two of the three warehouses were recognised as monuments by the Flemish Community. A few years later the corner building, the oldest of the three, received the same recognition. The actual restoration took three years (2010 – 2013). The interior of the museum was tackled immediately after the restoration was completed. 

A scientific committee drew the contours of the future museum in 2007. The committee linked the local and historic story of the buildings and the Red Star Line shipping company with the universal theme of human mobility in the draft proposal Red Star Line | People on the Move. Based on that proposal a team was put together to coordinate and prepare the new museum. On September 28th, the Red Star Line Museum opened its door to the public.