Inspiring new architecture in Belgium

1) Port House

Antwerp Port Authority occupies a stunning building in the industrial docklands to the north of the old town. Located on a remote waterfront site, it is not particularly easy to reach, but it is worth the trip, especially on a weekday when the huge inner courtyard is open to the public. The building was originally a 19th-century fire station modelled on a 16th-century Renaissance building owned by the Hanseatic League. Shortly before her death in 2016, the British architect Zaha Hadid transformed the fire station by adding a glass structure perched on the roof like a ship. Once inside the courtyard, you can admire the massive steel struts supporting the glass superstructure. Embedded in the floor is an enormous aerial photograph of Antwerp port, along with three anamorphic paintings by Italian street artist Vera Bugatti. Located near cycle point 54.

Port House building in Antwerp

Roel Hendrickx

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