The Chamber of Commerce was a stock market serving the city of Antwerp. Designed by the Flemish Architect Domien de Waghemakere, who took inspiration from the London Stock Exchange, the chamber opened for business in 1531. The building took the form of late a Gothic design style and stood in the heart of Belgium as a permanent centre of business for every nation.
Following a devastating fire in 1583, the Chamber of Commerce had to be rebuilt. It was resurrected from the original design plans in, but this generation of the building had the interior space enclosed by a roof of glass and steel in 1853 that was designed by Charles Marcelles and modelled on London’s Chrystal Palace.
The building was once again destroyed by fire in 1588 and Antwerp City Council hosted a competition to design a new stock exchange whilst ensuring that the original concept would be preserved. This competition was won by architect Joseph Schadde and his revolutionary Neo-Gothic style building was completed in 1872. The metal exoskeleton used to design the main structure of the building would protect it from further devastation by fire.
The Brussels Stock Exchange took over proceedings within the Antwerp stock market in 1997 which thus resulted in the closure of the Chamber of Commerce. Since this time the building has stood empty and minimal maintenance has been carried out. The building is now to undergo renovation to be converted into a hotel and function space, this work began in 2012 but is yet to be completed.