Powerful new architectural landmark in Antwerp

19/09/2016

In the very heart of the port of Antwerp, in the centre of the wharfs, stands an elegant new gem, an emblematic structure that is impressive in its originality and its futuristic grandiosity. Zaha Hadid’s "Havenhuis" (port house) was officially inaugurated on 22 September.

Antwerp wishes to become known on the international stage as a modern and attractive city, by making ambitious contemporary architecture projects a reality. And it is succeeding. After the construction of the MAS museum by the Neutelings-Riedijk architects' office, and of the Courthouse by Richard Rogers, among others, the Havenhuis was built to accommodate the port's staff.

In place of the old fire station, whose building was preserved and renovated, Zaha Hadid – the world famous Anglo-Iraqi architect who died unexpectedly on 31 March 2016 – built a huge, four-storey glass structure totalling 6,000 square metres. The overall shape represents a ship. And the countless small triangles of glass making up this structure bring to mind the facets of a gemstone. Such a symbol is important for the diamond capital of the world and the second largest port in Europe.

The Havenhuis meets the highest sustainability standards. In addition to offices, the building is home to an auditorium and a cafeteria, and public exhibitions take place in its entrance hall. Currently, Zaha Hadid – the architect of the Havenhuis – has the place of honour. The upper storeys and glass elevators offer a spectacular view of the port. Guided tours will be organised starting 29 October 2016. For more information, visit www.portofantwerp.com. A must-see for art and architecture enthusiasts, as well as photographers!

 

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