Zaha Hadid Architects
The new Antwerp Port Authority headquarters will house approximately 500 staff, currently working in separate buildings, in a single new building that comprises a former Fire Station and the new extension.
The new Port House design consists of two entities: the existing
Fire Station and a new crystalline volume lifted above the retained
building. Together they form an impressive new landmark as the
headquarters of the Antwerp Port Authority, overlooking the city
and port, and symbolizing Antwerp as a port of global importance
and a major economic driver of region.
The design by Zaha Hadid Architects preserves as much as possible of the dignity of the present building as a monument, while adding a new object to the site.
Positioned asymmetrically over the central glazed courtyard of
the existing Fire Station, the new extension allows light to enter
the heart of the building. The extension is supported by three
sculpted concrete pillars that house the stairs and lifts. Two of
the pillars land on the ground within the courtyard, while the
third lands outside the existing building and houses a panoramic
The building's volume is enclosed by articulated surfaces that have a facade of glass and aluminum panels, reflecting the surroundings during the day and transforming into a radiating crystal at night. The panels do not all lie in the same plane but are rotated slightly with respect to one another, reflecting light from these facets - a reference to Antwerp's diamond industry.
The new Port House forms part of a program of improvements to the Port Authority's own buildings. In addition to various renovation and new construction work that has already been carried out, a public call for tender has been issued for the new VTS (Vehicle Traffic Service) building beside the Zandvliet lock.
Facts about Port House
Fire Station: 6,600 m2
Extension: 6,200 m2
Expected completion: 2013
Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher
Studieburo Mouton bvba
Ingenium nv & Daidalos Peutz
Last updated: January 21, 2013