New Port House

Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects (GB)
Client: Gemeentelijk Havenbedrijf Antwerpen 
Advisors: Studiebureau Mouton (stability), Ingenieursbureau Ingenium (techniques), Daidalos Peutz (acoustics), Origin (restauration), FPC (fire safety)  
Location: Antwerp  
Surface: 12.000 m² (office space) 
Timing: 2009 –  2016   
Budget: € 59.000.000 
Status: realized

© Sarah Blee
Render: Zaha Hadid Architects in collaboration with BB
Illustration Revit-software: adaptive component in massing environment - diagonaal element

Project Support I Collaboration
Technical advice I Safety coordination

Renovation of a former fire station and construction of a beam-shaped volume that is lifted on top.
As a signpost of the second largest European port and fifth on a global scale, the new Port House brings together the different services of the Antwerp Port Authority in one location, on the border between the port and the city. The new Port House consists of the former fire station and an elegant, beam-shaped volume raised top.

The new volume is supported by sculptural pillars, a few of which are drilled through the covered courtyard of the fire station. A glass column, which makes the new volume accessible, is composed of a panoramic elevator shaft. The new building façades are made up of glass triangles that are slightly rotated relative to each other so that the incidence of light always emits ever-changing reflections.

Bureau Bouwtechniek delivered a substantial contribution to the design of the façade. BB translated the original design by Zaha Hadid Architects into a budgetary and technically feasible design using BIM. The BIM model, the graphic execution and the presentation of the glass façades were developed with the Revit Architecture software. The BB-team has managed to develop working methods within Revit that allow drawing and modelling of such complex geometries without affecting the architect's aesthetics.
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In an effort to simplify the execution and for financial risk reduction, the design team has chosen to provide various prefabricated components for the new Port House. The steel structure, the triangle façade and the atrium roof will be prefabricated in larger, transportable parts. The mounting of the façade, in particular, promises to be an unusual and gigantic challenge, like a puzzle.

Bureau Bouwtechniek is responsible for the complete construction-technical support of architect firm ZaHa Hadid architects from the tendering phase. BB is responsible for technical assistance during the design process, the layout of the implementation plans, the development of technical details, the blueprint of constructional specifications and estimates. BB leads the monitoring of the implementation.

Team BB: prof. arch. Jan Moens, ir. arch. Gert Biebauw, arch. Ilse Deckmyn, ir. arch. Paulus Present, arch. Barbara Arts, ir. arch. Arno Van Hulle, ir. arch. Nadja Van Houten

The New Port House in the international press