In early September, Zaha Hadid gave the official order to begin construction work on Port House, the new headquarters for Antwerp Port Authority on the Kattendijk dock. The new Antwerp 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 Antwerp Port Authority, overlooking both the city and the harbor. More images and architects’ description after the break.
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).
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.
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.”