Port House: Antwerp Headquarters / Zaha Hadid Architects

  • 17 Oct 2012
  • by
  • Office Buildings
Courtesy of

In early September, Zaha Hadid gave the official order to begin construction work on Port House, the new headquarters for Port Authority on the Kattendijk dock. The new Port Authority headquarters will house approximately 500 staff in a single new location that comprises both a former fi re station and a new extension. Together, these two entities form an impressive new landmark as the headquarters of the Port Authority, overlooking both the city and the harbor. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

Staff and visitors arrive in the central atrium from where public counters, offices and meeting rooms in the existing building are directly accessible. The offices, meeting rooms, auditorium and panoramic restaurant in the new extension are accessible via panoramic lifts just off the central courtyard. Two underground levels of car and bicycle parking, the restoration and renovation of the existing building and the exterior landscaping of the site also form an integral part of the design. The maximum dimensions of the new building extension are 114m length, 24m width and 46m height (4 additional floors).

Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

The new extension is positioned asymmetrically over the central courtyard, allowing light to enter the heart of the building. Leaving the existing structure untouched, it is supported by two sculpted concrete pillars that house stairs and lifts as well as a series of carefully placed steel columns that land in the courtyard.

Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

The new volume is enclosed by articulated surfaces of triangular glass panels which are slightly rotated with respect to one another to achieve ever-changing reflections that enhance its diamond shaped geometry. “With the new Port House we have given a face to the world-class port that Antwerp undoubtedly is. With its dynamic, ambitious and innovative design it stands as a symbol for our port,” Van Peel continued. “From the new building visitors will have a truly impressive view over the city as well as the port, so further strengthening the dialogue between the people of Anwerp and their port.”

Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Design: Zaha Hadid, Patrik Schumacher
Project Director: Joris Pauwels
Project Architect: Jinmi Lee
Project Team: Florian Goscheff, Monica Noguero, Kristof Crolla, Naomi Fritz, Sandra Riess, Muriel Boselli, Susanne Lettau
Competition Team: Kristof Crolla, Sebastien Delagrange, Paulo Flores, Jimena Araiza, Sofi a Daniilidou, Andres Schenker, Evan Erlebacher, Lulu Aldihani
Executive Architect: Bureau Bouwtechniek
Structural Engineers: Studieburo Mouton Bvba
Services Engineers: Ingenium Nv
Acoustic Engineers: Daidalos Peutz
Restoration: Origin
Fire Protection: Fpc
Total Floor Area: 12,800m2 (Gross); 114m Length; 24m Width; 46m Height (4 Extra Floors)
Site Area: 16,400 m2
Date: 2008-2015

Cite: Furuto, Alison. "Port House: Antwerp Headquarters / Zaha Hadid Architects" 17 Oct 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=279677>
  • dick lawless

    what a disaster!

  • abe bee

    its a boat on top of a building.


  • Victor Mascarenhas

    Its hard to believe this is really going to be constructed…

  • Ty

    I like it, I think it’s new and interesting. Most people hate anythings that is not a blue box.

  • Dennis Moss Jnr

    this is absolutely disgusting… yet another object building from Hadid

    “…leaving the existing structure untouched…”

    it might not physically touch the old building, but it dominates it in the most aggressive way possible.

    “…visitors will have a truly impressive view over the city as well as the port, so further strengthening the dialogue between the people of Anwerp and their port.”

    is there any “dialogue” with the identity of Antwerp and its people?

    what message do architects send out with designs like this?

    • Amaury Henderick

      There is some dialogue with the identity of Antwerp as a world centre of diamond trade – cf. the facetted cladding.

  • Winter

    Yes, thats how to design public space: lot of visualized people…

  • pluk petteflet

    I was just taking a look at guangzhou opera house and I was thinking it looks unearthly beautiful, and then I click this page and… I found out that STAR TREK CRUSHED INTO THE CITY!

    Zaha how could you do such a thing???

  • http://tecnne.com Marcelo Gardinetti

    an intervention disrespectful of the architectural heritage

  • vady

    doesn’t it look a little like strange creature using the old building as a toilet?

  • laurent t

    looks like the original building grew a bit fat cancerous tumor…