Competition Port House

winner: Zaha Hadid Architects

Antwerp, Zaha Hadidplein 1



Competition Port House

On 13th of March 2008 five architectural firms were chosen out of 100 to develop their concept for the new Port House. It had to become an office building for 436 employees of the Port of Antwerp. One of the demands was energy efficiency. The classified monument on the site, an old fire station from 1922, must be kept and be integrated in the project. In this blogpost I explain the projects of the 4 laureates that didn’t win. Zaha Hadid Architects won the competition and you read more about it in the blogpost about the construction of the Port House.


Foto: Kempe Thill & a20


a2o-architecten cvba, Atelier Kempe Thill architects and planners, Bureau d’Etudes Greisch nv, Marcq & Roba

a2o architecten (Hasselt, Belgium) and Atelier Kempe Thill (Rotterdam) suggest a doubling of the floor area of the old fire station by mirroring this building. The mirrored element consist out of new materials, which go into dialogue with the almost 100 year old building at the bottom. On the roof of the 41 meter high building is possibility for a publc area (or a platform for a helicopter). On the courtyard, there would be an art work.


Foto: Rapp + Rapp


Rapp+Rapp bv

In 1999 architectural firm Rapp + Rapp was founded by Christian Rapp, now the city architect of Antwerp, and his wife Birgit Scheulen. Their design consist of two towers which are connected. The towers would come on top of the old fire station. Form and typologie refer to the industrial architecture of the port. The top floors of the towers are for technical installations. The facade on the south would be partly destroyed to open the courtyard . At the courtyard would come a mirroring pont.


Foto: Vier Arquitectos


Vier Arquitectos sl

Vier Arquitectos (Spain) break down the facade on the south and replace it by a 80 meter high tower. It’s a reference to the tower architect Van Averbeke designed in the original plans for the fire station. The facade of the tower exists out of 2 layers: outside gold colored aluminium panels and inside a glass facade. The architects also suggest to breaking down the quay, so the tower would be in the water. Between the concrete slabs of the surrounding square exotic plants would be sown.


Foto: Xaveer De Geyter


Xaveer De Geyter Architectenbureau BVBA

Xaveer de Geyter, an architectural firm out of Brussels (Belgium), places a big beamshaped volume on top of the old fire station at a height of 34 meters. This new part will be supported by an open construction that stands in the courtyard. It’s a reference to a super container lifted by a port crane. Panoramic elevators connect both parts.