Our buildings

The Institute of Tropical Medicine is world-renowned for its teaching, research and service in tropical medicine and public health. We pursue these objectives in two beautiful protected monuments.

Protected monuments

The main building is an Art Deco gem from 1933. Here you will find the research department, hospital and general services. Even in the entrance hall you can the typical Art Deco style is undeniable: the high ceiling, the wide staircases in black and grey marble and the soberly decorated white copper banisters.

Further down the street, you will see an imposing seventeenth-century monastery in expressive Baroque and traditional limestone style. Campus Rochus is home to hundreds of international students. After thorough renovation, we transformed the serene monastery halls, corridors and cells into vibrant classrooms, offices and meeting rooms.

We owe the fact that we can carry out our activities in these buildings to the financial support of the Department of Monuments and Sites, the National Lottery and the Department of Education.

Would you like a guided tour?

Group: maximum 20 persons
Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours
Price: 200 euro
Language: Dutch, French or English

Send an e-mail to communicatie@itg.be or call 03 247 66 66.

Our guided tours are very popular. So contact us at least three months in advance.


Main building

Architectural gem in Antwerp

In 1924, the Province of Antwerp wanted to build a new Provincial Institute of Hygiene. A competition was held, with Victor Horta, among others, on the jury. The grand prize went to the young, unknown architects Marcel Spittael and Paul Le Bon: they were allowed to build their Art Deco vision.

Construction started on 7 August 1925 but proceeded slowly due to the economic crisis. It is not until 1933 that the Institute of Tropical Medicine takes up residence there.

The ground plan has three symmetrically arranged buildings: the research department, the hospital and the general services. The facade stands out with its Art Deco-framed facades in bluestone and yellow brick. Ornamental windows and alternating layers provide and rhythm and structure.

Between 1979 and 1985, the central wing was completely renovated. A fourth floor was added: the current library.

The building and the garden have been protected monuments since 1993.


Back in time

In the front building on Nationalestraat, you can still find the original interior: panelling in various types of wood, marble staircases and impressive murals by Africanist Allard L'Olivier. People, landscapes and scenes from central Africa at the beginning of the last century define the atmosphere.

The hall exudes the typical Art Deco style: high ceiling, wide stairs made of black and grey marble and soberly decorated white copper banisters.

The interior of the Bibliotheca Brodeniana has also been beautifully preserved. This meeting room used to be the library and takes its name from one of its first directors, Prof Broden. ITM also has a tapestry by J.M. Strebelle and M. de Witte on loan from the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren.


Unique piece of greenery

Originality is not limited to the buildings. The garden surrounding the buildings is also quite unique. In Belgium, you will only find such a sunken garden in Brussels. Here the design, not the planting, takes precedence. It is a beautiful play of paths and hedges around ponds and fountains.

The garden also houses the forerunner of the air conditioner that used to keep the humidity inside the building stable. A large fan sucked air in through the decorative grille behind the waterfall and blew it into the air supply pipes.

Between the buildings you will find a tightly geometric pond, bluestone terrace borders and symmetrical flower beds.

We renovated this garden in 2002 according to its original design with support from the Flemish Ministry of Monuments and Sites and private patronage.


The Rochus International Campus

A stone's throw away

In 2001, the ITG is keen to expand - preferably in the immediate vicinity. Coincidentally, the last Capuchin nuns are looking for buyers for their seventeenth-century monastery with beautiful halls, gardens and a baroque church. And that's just a stone's throw from our main building!

The ITG has no doubts as the location is ideal. The hidden beauty of the buildings and monastery gardens matches the main building perfectly. A downside? The monastery is a protected monument in dire need of renovation.

We are able to buy and renovate Campus Rochus thanks to the support of the Flemish Ministry of Education, the Flemish Ministry for Monuments and Sites, the Province and City of Antwerp, the National Lottery and private patronage.

Thorough renovation

We are preparing this work thoroughly. For instance, we are having a building history study carried out. Work will start in 2004. And in September 2006, just in time for our centenary, the monastery was resurrected in all its glory.

In the church, a floating concrete floor now creates two levels. The ground floor houses the P.G. Janssens auditorium with 200 seats, an 80-seat auditorium and a multifunctional meeting room. The serene cloisters, corridors and cells are now bustling classrooms, offices and meeting rooms.

And the name of Campus Rochus? That refers not only to the address of the new campus. It also refers to Saint Rochus, patron of sufferers of plague and infectious diseases.