The Future, Perched on the Past

In one of the most remarkable pieces of architecture we’ve seen in a long time, the new Antwerp Port Authority building breaks all molds, and moves the design needle. Designed by famed architect Zaha Hadid before her death last year, the building is an enormous faceted glass volume, perched atop the existing former fire station below it. It’s an entirely polarizing form, seemingly out of place in the most obvious manner, yet to us, it screams ingenious, new, daring, and exciting. Developed by her firm, ZHA, the city of Antwerp will be forever changed by this striking addition to the landscape. Via Dezeen:


The old, traditional architecture has been restored but untouched. Above it, the future takes shape, in a daring, sail-like design. Some people may hate it, but we find that architecture that ruffles feathers has often done it’s job well.


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

“Surrounded by water, the new extension’s facade is a glazed surface that ripples like waves and reflects the changing tones and colours of the city’s sky.”


The addition allows for 500 employees who were stationed elsewhere to join forces in the main headquarters.


“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,” said the firm. “Like the ripples on the surface of the water in the surrounding port, the new facade reflects changing light conditions.”