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Autumn Review: Port House, Antwerp: Construction works begin

Zaha Hadid gave the official order to begin construction work on Port House, the new headquarters for Antwerp Port Authority on the Kattendijk dock. The order was given in the presence of the Flemish ministers Hilde Crevits and Geert Bourgeois, port alderman Marc Van Peel and Port Authority CEO Eddy Bruyninckx. Once the new headquarters is handed over in 2015 the Port Authority will overcome the urgent shortage of space in its present headquarters. Works will take 33 calendar months.

The new Port House is a two-part design, consisting of a dynamic beam-shaped structure raised above the former fire station, a listed building which is being restored and given a dramatic new role. These two components give the new Port House a volumetric composition with breath-taking views across the city and its port. The facade is comprised of glass triangles that produce a constantly changing play of reflected light. Victor Buyck Steel Construction, the subcontractor responsible for the 1500-tonne steel structure, will use a modular construction of six large elements that are prefabricated in Wondelgem and transported to Antwerp by barge