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Zaha Hadid to Design Port Authority…in Belgium

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(Zaha Hadid Architects)

When Zaha Hadid‘s press office told us that she had won the competition to design a new building for the Port Authority, we couldn’t contain our excitement: at long last, an end to bus trips that begin or end in a sticky-floored subterranean doom chamber! Alas, Hadid won’t be bringing her swooping lines and shimmering pods to Times Square anytime soon. The Port Authority she’s impressed is that of Antwerp, Belgium.

Zaha Hadid Architects has been selected to build Port House, the new headquarters of the Antwerp Port Authority. Located on the boundary of the city and its harbor, the building will consist of a former fire station (a Hadid favorite!) and a new extension described as “a crystalline volume lifted above the retained building.” The design of Hadid and Patrik Schumacher calls for the glass- and aluminum-paneled extension to be supported by three sculpted concrete pillars that will contain stairs and elevators. Its asymmetric position over the central courtyard of the existing fire station will allow light to enter the heart of the building. “The dichotomy between the reflective, faceted form of the new extension and the powerful structural mass of the existing fire station creates a bold and enigmatic statement for the city,” said Hadid in a statement issued earlier this week.

Click “continued…” for three of Hadid’s renderings for the project. They were enough to make us seriously consider moving to Antwerp and becoming involved in the shipping trade—or at least inquiring as to whether Ann Demeulemeester is in the market for a housekeeper/blogger.

(All images courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects)
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