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Zaha Hadid’s Antwerp Vision Brought to Fruition

Architecture By
(Zaha Hadid Architects)
(Zaha Hadid Architects)

 

If you’re walking around the Port of Antwerp, you may do a double-take if you spot the new Port House, what 500 workers running Europe’s second-largest shipping hub call home. That’s because it’s the latest complete project from Zaha Hadid Architects. Standing out among the rest of the stately Hanseatic buildings, the new headquarters consist of a giant crystalline cocoon atop an old fire station.

(Zaha Hadid Architects)
(Zaha Hadid Architects)

 

When the city and port authorities decided their hub needed an upgrade in 2007, they decided to relocate to a central location that could fit their entire staff. Yet, the pre-existing building and location presented some design challenges. So the Flemish government’s department of architecture and the city and port authorities organized a design competition for the new headquarters. (The preservation of the original fire station was the sole requisite.) Of the five shortlisted candidates, all proposed a modern structure above the original building to preserve it.

(Zaha Hadid Architects)
(Zaha Hadid Architects)

 

(Zaha Hadid Architects)
(Zaha Hadid Architects)