Friday Focus: Architectural Innovation at Antwerp


The old Hansa Building has been fully restored at the Port of Antwerp after four years of construction, and with the help of Zaha Hadid Architects, a new glass structure in the shape of a ship soars above this former fire station to the North of the city which is now a protected monument.

© Tim Fisher Photography

© Tim Fisher Photography

The new Port House has been designed with sustainability in mind, ethically sourced materials were used and the ground heat storage system saves 270 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

© Tim Fisher Photography

© Tim Fisher Photography

In a public statement by the Port of Antwerp authority, it was said: “for centuries the fire station marked the farthest end of the port, but now it stands at the beginning of the extended port area. In this way the Port House points towards the port of the 21st century, ready to meet the future”

In a video released by the architects last year, a virtual tour of the under-construction port house is shown:

The designer of this masterwork, Zaha Hadid, sadly died quite unexpectedly several months ago but her architectural legacy lives on. The square beside the Port House has been named in her honour. 

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