Rippling Glass Lump Sits on Top of Antwerp Port Building – By Zaha Hadid

Rippling Glass Lump Sits on Top of Antwerp Port Building – By Zaha Hadid

A huge, faceted glass volume sits on the roof of the new headquarters Zaha Hadid Architects has designed for Antwerp’s Port Authority.

Zaha Hadid Architects added the glass extension to a disused fire station in Antwerp’s docks to create Port House.

First unveiled in 2009, the scheme was one of the most ambitious designs proposed by British-Iraqi Zaha Hadid before her death earlier this year.

The huge volume measures over 100 meters in length, almost matching the scale of the former fire station below it.

It allows the building to host 500 Port Authority staff who were previously working across separate sites in the Belgian city.

port-house-antwerp-zaha-hadid-architects-hufton-and-crow_struczone_2364_col_3

The extension is covered in triangular facets – some transparent and others opaque – which are arranged to create a flat surface at the south end and a rippling texture that echoes the water at the north.

“Like the bow of a ship, the new extension points towards the Scheldt, connecting the building with the river on which Antwerp was founded,” said ZHA.

“Surrounded by water, the new extension’s facade is a glazed surface that ripples like waves and reflects the changing tones and colours of the city’s sky.”

The alternating transparent and opaque panels are intended to visually break up the scale of the structure. They also provide ample daylight, shade and views out to the Scheldt river, city and port for workers.

port-house-antwerp-zaha-hadid-architects-hufton-and-crow_struczone_2364_col_4

The old fire station is heritage listed so the extension is elevated above its roof, ensuring none of the original facades are concealed.

One end of the glazed structure overhangs the original dormer roof and is propped up by a tapered concrete leg containing an observation point.

The old fire station is heritage listed so the extension is elevated above its roof, ensuring none of the original facades are concealed.

One end of the glazed structure overhangs the original dormer roof and is propped up by a tapered concrete leg containing an observation point.

“This perception of a transparent volume, cut to give the new building its sparkling appearance, reinterprets Antwerp’s moniker as the city of diamonds.”

The fire station’s central courtyard has been enclosed with glass and now forms the main reception for Port House.

A large circulation tower rises through the centre of the old building, connecting it to the extension overhead.

port-house-antwerp-zaha-hadid-architects-tim-fisher_struczone_2364_col_11

The whole building has a total floorplan of 12,800 square metres – 6,600 square metres in the refurbished fire station and a further 6,200 square metres in the extension.

A restaurant, meeting rooms and a 90-seat auditorium are set on the upper levels of the existing building and the lower levels of the extension. Other floors contain open-plan offices.

The site also includes 190 spots for bicycle parking and 25 parking spaces for electric cars.

Since the port – Europe’s second largest – is surrounded by water, many of the construction materials were transport to the site by boat.

Port House is one of a string of projects designed by the late architect Zaha Hadid that are due to be completed this year.

port-house-antwerp-zaha-hadid-architects-tim-fisher_struczone_2364_col_3

 

Via Dezeen 

Post Author: Zahi Baroudi

One thought on “Rippling Glass Lump Sits on Top of Antwerp Port Building – By Zaha Hadid

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *