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.

Mountain Museum Nestled Inside the Italian Dolomites by Zaha Hadid

Mountaineer Reinhold Messner is a renowned adventurer who has achieved incredible feats: he was the first person to climb Mount Everest without the aid of an oxygen tank, as well as the first to ascend all 14 mountains around the world that are over 8,000 meters high. Since earning these accomplishments, he’s created a series of museums dedicated to mountain culture across the Alps. His sixth and final installment is called the Messner Mountain Museum Corones. Designed by architect Zaha Hadid, it’s an impressive concrete structure embedded within Mount Kronplatz. The massive museum sits 7,000 feet above sea level and occupies over 10,000 square feet of space. Three angular canopies emerge from the ground, mimicking large boulders that you’d see on the mountainside. They’re made from glass-reinforced fiber concrete, and they have a pale gray exterior that blends into the neighboring limestone surface. To offset the exterior, the inside of the building has slightly darker tones that match the anthracite coal buried deep underground. Hadid’s design offers an awe-inspiring look at the surrounding landscape. She explains in a press release, “The idea [is] that visitors can descend into the mountain to explore its caverns and grottos, before emerging through the mountain wall on the other side, out onto the overhanging terrace with its spectacular, panoramic views.” The Messner Mountain Museum Corones was recently opened to the public in late July, and it’s home to artifacts, images, and tools from the brave explorer’s life.

Issam Fares Institute by Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid Architects have completed the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut. “In 2006, the competition jury selected ZHA’s proposal to build the new institute. The design significantly reduces the building’s footprint by “floating” much of the IFI’s facilities above the entrance courtyard to preserve the existing landscape integral to the 2002 master-plan, create a new public space for the campus, and establish links from the university’s Central Oval to the Middle Campus and Mediterranean Sea to the north. The 3,000 sq. m. Issam Fares Institute building is defined by the many routes and connections within AUB; interweaving the pathways and views within the campus to create a forum for the exchange of ideas – a centre of interaction and dialogue – at the heart of the university.”