Antwerp’s New Port House by Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid Architects has inaugurated the New Port House in Antwerp, which repurposes a derelict fire station as a new headquarters for the district. The project brings together the port’s 500 staff that previously worked in separate buildings around the city. The architecture takes the form of an elevated extension, designed to ‘float’ above the existing building. Shaped like the bow of a ship, the new structure points towards the scheldt river, with a faceted glazed façade that reflects the changing tones and colors of the city’s sky. Following the construction of a new fire station, the old facility became redundant and relied on a change of use to ensure its preservation. Consequently, this disused fire house had to be integrated into the new project. The Flemish government’s department of architecture, together with the city and port authorities, organized the architectural competition for the new headquarters. Zaha Hadid Architects’ design is informed by historical research and analysis of both the site and the existing building.