Antwerp Port House – With 12 km of docks, Antwerp is Europe’s second biggest transportation port, serving 15,000 ocean exchange ships and 60,000 inland freight ships every year. Antwerp handles 26% of Europe‘s holder delivery, shipping over 200 million tons of merchandise through the maritime vessels that call at the port and giving direct work to the north of 60,000 individuals, including more than 8,000 port specialists. By implication, the Port of Antwerp guarantees around 150,000 positions and has an aggressive focus for future extension to meet the landmass’ development and improvement over the following hundred years. 

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Antwerp port_©Hufton_Crow

In 2007, when the previous 1990s workplaces of the Port of Antwerp had become too little, the port verified that movement would empower its specialized and authoritative administrations to be housed together, giving new convenience to around 500 staff. The port required a supportable and future-verification work environment for its representatives, addressing its ethos and values in a consistently growing nearby and global field. As the edge between the city and its immense port, Mexico Island in Antwerp’s Kattendijk dock on Quay 63 was chosen as the site for the new administrative center. The waterside site additionally offered critical reasonable development benefits, permitting materials and building parts to be shipped by water, a significant necessity to meet the port’s natural targets.

Following the development of another fire station with offices expected to support the growing port, the old fire station on the Mexico Island site – a recorded reproduction of a Hanseatic home – became excess and depended on a difference in use to guarantee its conservation. This neglected fire station must be coordinated in the new undertaking. The Flemish government’s branch of design, along with the City and Port specialists coordinated the engineering contest for the new central command. Zaha Hadid Architects‘ plan is educated by verifiable exploration and an exhaustive examination of both the site and the current structure.

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Antwerp Port Columns ©Tim_Fisher

Marc Van Peel, president of the Port of Antwerp, said: “There was only one rule laid down in the architectural competition, namely that the original building had to be preserved. There were no other requirements imposed for the positioning of the new building. The jury was therefore pleasantly surprised when the five shortlisted candidates all opted for a modern structure above the original building. They all combined the new with the old, but the design by Zaha Hadid Architects was the most brilliant.”

Working with Origin, driving legacy advisors in the reclamation and redesign of memorable landmarks, Zaha Hadid Architects’ investigations of the site’s set of experiences and legacy are the groundworks of the plan which underlines the north-south site hub, first and foremost, lined up with the Kattendijkdok connecting the downtown area to the port. Besides, because of its area encircled by water, the structure’s four rises are considered of equivalent significance with no important exterior. Zaha Hadid Architects’ plan is a raised expansion, instead of an adjoining volume that would have covered something like one of the current veneers. Its strong vertical assertion, expected to crown the monumental volume of the structure underneath, was never realized. These three key standards characterize the plan’s piece of new and old: another volume that ‘floats’ over the old structure, regarding every one of the old veneers and finishing the verticality of the first plan’s unrealized pinnacle.

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Antwerp Port © Helene Binet

Like the bow of a boat, the new expansion of Antwerp port house focuses on the Scheldt, interfacing the structure with the waterway on which Antwerp was established. Encircled by water, the new expansion’s façade is a coated surface that waves like waves and mirrors the changing tones and shades of the city’s sky. Three-sided features permit the smooth bends at one or the flip side of the structure to be framed with level sheets of glass. They likewise work with the progressive change from a level façade at the south finish of the structure to an undulating surface at the north. While a large portion of the three-sided features is straightforward, some are hazy. 

This aligned blend guarantees adequate daylight inside the structure, while additionally controlling the sun-powered burden to ensure ideal working circumstances. Simultaneously, the shift of straightforward and murky veneer boards separates the volume of the new augmentation, giving all-encompassing perspectives on the Scheldt, the city, and the Port as well as giving a walled-in area. The façade’s undulating quality is produced with level aspects toward the south that steadily become more three-layered toward the north. This view of a straightforward volume, slice to give the new structure its shimmering appearance, revaluates Antwerp’s moniker as the city of precious stones. 

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Inside of Antwerp port ©Hufton_Crow
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Antwerp port Office ©Hufton_Crow

The old fire station’s focal patio has been encased with a glass rooftop and is changed into the fundamental banquet room for the new Antwerp Port House. From this focal chamber, guests access the notable public understanding room and library inside the neglected fire engine corridor which has been re-established and safeguarded. All-encompassing lifts give direct admittance to the new augmentation with an outer scaffold between the current structure and new expansion giving all-encompassing perspectives on the city and port. The client prerequisites for a ‘movement-based office’ are incorporated inside the plan, with related regions, for example, the café, meeting rooms, and hall situated at the focal point of the upper levels of the current structure and the base floors of the new augmentation. The leftover floors are additional remote from the middle and involve open arrangement workplaces.

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Antwerp port ©Hufton_Crow
Antwerp Port © Helene Binet

Despite the difficulties of coordinating with a safeguarded notable structure, elevated requirements in a maintainable plan were accomplished by carrying out successful systems at each phase of development. A borehole energy framework siphons water to a profundity of 80m underneath grade in the north of 100 areas around the structure to give warming and cooling. In the current structure, this framework utilizes chilled radiates. In the new augmentation, it utilizes chilled roofs. Waterless latrine fittings and movement identifiers limit water utilization while building mechanization and ideal sunlight controls limit fake lighting.


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