Port House

The new headquarters for Antwerp Port Authority Antwerp / Belgium / 2016

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Working with Origin, leading heritage consultants in the restoration and renovation of historic monuments, ZHA’s studies of the site’s history and heritage are the foundations of the design which firstly emphasises the north-south site axis parallel with the Kattendijkdok linking the city centre to the port. Secondly, due to its location surrounded by water, the building's four elevations are considered of equal importance with no principal facade. ZHA’s design is an elevated extension, rather than a neighbouring volume which would have concealed at least one of the existing facades. ZHA and Origin’s historic analysis of the old fire station also highlighted the role of its originally intended tower - a grand, imposing component of the fire station's Hanseatic design. Its bold vertical statement, intended to crown the imposing volume of the building below, was never realised.


These three key principles define the design’s composition of new and old: a new volume that ‘floats’ above the old building, respecting each of the old facades and completing the verticality of the original design’s unrealised tower.


Like the bow of a ship, the new extension points towards the Scheldt, connecting the building with the river on which Antwerp was founded.


Surrounded by water, the new extension's façade is a glazed surface that ripples like waves and reflects the changing tones and colours of the city’s sky. Triangular facets allow the apparently smooth curves at either end of the building to be formed with flat sheets of glass. They also facilitate the gradual transition from a flat façade at the south end of the building to a rippling surface at the north.


While most of the triangular facets are transparent, some are opaque. This calibrated mix ensures sufficient sunlight within the building, while also controlling solar load to guarantee optimal working conditions. At the same time, the alternation of transparent and opaque facade panels breaks down the volume of the new extension, giving panoramic views of the Scheldt, the city and the Port as well as providing enclosure.


The façade’s rippling quality is generated with flat facets to the south that gradually become more three-dimensional towards to the north. This perception of a transparent volume, cut to give the new building its sparkling appearance, reinterprets Antwerp’s moniker as the city of diamonds. The new extension appears as a carefully cut form which changes its appearance with the shifting intensity of daylight. Like the ripples on the surface of the water in the surrounding port, the new façade reflects changing light conditions.


The old fire station’s central courtyard has been enclosed with a glass roof and is transformed into the main reception area for the new Port House. From this central atrium, visitors access the historic public reading room and library within the disused fire truck hall which has been carefully restored and preserved. Panoramic lifts provide direct access to the new extension with an external bridge between the existing building and new extension giving panoramic views of the city and port.


The client requirements for an ‘activity based office’ are integrated within the design, with related areas such as the restaurant, meeting rooms and auditorium located at the centre of the upper levels of the existing building and the bottom floors of the new extension. The remaining floors more remote from the centre, comprise open plan offices.


Collaborating with services consultant Ingenium, ZHA developed a sustainable and energy-efficient design reaching a ‘Very Good’ BREEAM environmental rating. Despite the challenges of integrating with a protected historic building, high standards in sustainable design were achieved by implementing effective strategies at each stage of construction. A borehole energy system pumps water to a depth of 80m below grade in over 100 locations around the building to provide heating and cooling. In the existing building, this system uses chilled beams. In the new extension, it uses chilled ceilings. Waterless lavatory fittings and motion detectors minimise water consumption while building automation and optimal daylight controls minimise artificial lighting.


With constant references to the Scheldt, the city of Antwerp and the dynamics of its port, married with the successful renovation and reuse of a redundant fire station - integrating it as a fully-fledged part of its headquarters - the new Port House will serve the port well through its planned expansion over future generations.


 


Project data:
Total Floor Area:
12,800 square metres
(6,600 square metres in the refurbished fire station)
(6,200 square metres in the new extension)


 New extension:


111 metres length
24 metres width
21 metres height


Existing fire station:
63 metres length
78.5 metres width
21.5 metres height


Total height (existing building + new extension):


46 metres (5 additional floors)



Site Area


16,400 square metres


90-seat auditorium


190 bicycle parking spaces


25 parking spaces for electric cars


 


Project Team:


Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)
Design: Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher
ZHA Project Director: Joris Pauwels
ZHA Project Architect: Jinmi Lee
ZHA Project Team: Florian Goscheff, Monica Noguero, Kristof Crolla, Naomi Fritz, Sandra Riess, Muriel Boselli, Susanne Lettau
ZHA Competition Team: Kristof Crolla, Sebastien Delagrange, Paulo Flores, Jimena Araiza, Sofia Daniilidou, Andres Schenker, Evan Erlebacher, Lulu Aldihani


 


Consultants:


Executive Architect: Bureau Bouwtechniek
Structural Engineers: Studieburo Mouton Bvba
Services Engineers: Ingenium Nv
Acoustic Engineers: Daidalos Peutz
Restoration Consultants: Origin
Fire Protection: Fpc


[IT] La nuova struttura, destinata ad accogliere i cinquecento ufficiali dell’autorità portuale che ad oggi lavorano in edifici separati, sorgerà sul sito attualmente occupato dalla vecchia caserma dei vigili del fuoco di Antwerp. Il progetto vincitore immagina di recuperare lo storico volume, “poggiando” su di esso un nuovo corpo in vetro, a tratti trasparente, a tratti riflettente. “La fusione dei due elementi darà vita a un nuovo, ‘potente’ punto di riferimento nel panorama della città e del porto, richiamando simbolicamente l’importanza mondiale del nodo principale dell’economia regionale. Grazie alla sua particolare fattura, la nuova struttura in vetro, collocata in posizione asimmetrica al di sopra della corte centrale dell’edificio storico, consentirà alla luce di penetrare fino al cuore dell’edificio. Ad articolare la multiforme e cangiante pelle esterna del volume, dei pannelli di forma triangolare in vetro trasparente e alluminio riflettente variamente inclinati, pensati per riverberare la luce e le forme presenti nell’ambiente circostante durante il giorno, e per trasformare la struttura, alla sera, in un “cristallo luminoso”, omaggio all’industria dei diamanti di Antwerp. Tre imponenti pilastri, al cui interno saranno allocati scale e ascensori, sosterranno la struttura, ampia 6,200 metri quadri. Due di essi poggeranno sul pavimento dell’atrio interno, il terzo, invece, avrà base all’esterno della struttura, ospitando un ascensore panoramico. Dall’atrio centrale, pensato anche per accogliere mostre e installazioni, sarà possibile accedere tanto a uffici e sale-incontro ubicati nella ex caserma, quanto a quelli disegnati all’interno del nuovo volume in vetro, assieme a un auditorium e un ristorante panoramico. Previsti all’interno del piano interrato, un parcheggio dotato di circa 300 posti auto, vani per carico e scarico merci e servizi per lo smaltimento dei rifiuti. Nel complesso la nuova struttura, lunga 111 m, profonda 24 e alta 46 m, si “distenderà” su una superficie totale pari a 12,800metri quadri (di cui 6.600 occupati dalla vecchia stazione dei vigili del fuoco). Il costo complessivo dei lavori di realizzazione del progetto è stimato attorno ai 31,5 milioni di euro. Il progetto sarà completato entro il 2013. Design: Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher Project Architect: Joris Pauwels Project Team: Kristof Crolla, Sebastien Delagrange, Paulo Flores, Daniel Santos, Lulu Aldihani Consultants Local Architect: Bureau Bouwtechniek Structural Engineers: Studieburo Mouton bvba Services Engineers: Ingenium nv & Daidalos Peutz

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    Working with Origin, leading heritage consultants in the restoration and renovation of historic monuments, ZHA’s studies of the site’s history and heritage are the foundations of the design which firstly emphasises the north-south site axis parallel with the Kattendijkdok linking the city centre to the port. Secondly, due to its location surrounded by water, the building's four elevations are considered of equal importance with no principal facade. ZHA’s design is an elevated...

    Project details
    • Year 2016
    • Work finished in 2016
    • Client Flemish Government Architect
    • Status Current works
    • Type Port Areas / Business Centers
    • Websitehttp://www.portofantwerp.com
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