SAMGA, Silo A
THE ABANDONED SILO IN BELGIUM
In 1895 this SAMGA silo was the first silo built in Antwerpen. It is 100 meters long and 25 meter wide. Inside the building are 144 brick silos that can hold 25,000 tons of grain.
In 1895 Antwerp architect Frans van Dijk built this grain silo. It was owned by the SAMGA, short for ‘Société Anonyme des Magasins à Grains d’Anvers’. This company was founded in 1892.
From 1870 the Agricultural Invasion started. As a result, cheap grain arrived in Antwerp by ship from America, Canada, and Russia. The grain was manually removed in the port. Grain traders wanted to make it easier, more efficient and, above all, cheaper. So they made plans to built silos and automate the transport.
The original building had four towers on top of the roof, two on either side. Grain was transported up on both sides of the building, that makes this silo a unique building. After a V1 bomb damaged the building during the Second World War, the building was repaired and upgraded. Firstly, two levels were added on top of the building and the towers were shortened. Secondly, they installed a new transport system on the top floors. They replaced the system in 1977.
In 1939 a second SAMGA silo was built beside this one. Furthermore, a third silo was built in front of silo A in 1971. I took these photos of the abandoned Magasins à Grains in 2011 and 2016.