The Port House is an architectural jewel and undoubtedly one of the most amazing and high-profile eye-catchers of the Antwerp skyline. It is the head office of Port of Antwerp, and the workplace for 500 of its staff.
The renowned Zaha Hadid Architects firm delivered this astonishing masterpiece in 2016, as befitting a world port like Antwerp, and a symbolic gateway to the port area. At the Port House, the past and future of the port of Antwerp come together.
The lower part used to be a fire station at the far end of the harbour. During the renovation, this beautiful barracks has been preserved and now this place is designated to be the beginning of the extensive port area. There is no clearer symbol of the growth of the port of Antwerp. The new part is poised above the historic fire station like a glittering diamond, with its tip pointing towards the Scheldt like the prow of a ship. The glass superstructure reflects the varying shades of port, water and air. The flat and rippling surfaces, alternating between each other, represent the waves of the Scheldt. The glistening diamond is a clear reference to the Antwerp diamond trade. This is a metaphor for the port of the 21st century: a port with a rich past, ready for the future.
As a whole, it delivers a lovely example of spectacle architecture, characteristic of Zaha Hadid, a renowned British architect hailing from Iraq. Zaha Hadid has built striking buildings all over the world, including the Guangzhou opera house in China, the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku, Azerbaijan, and the Riverside Museum in Glasgow.
The building is breathtaking on the inside too, thanks to a fascinating interplay of lines to be found on every floor, and gorgeous panoramic views.
Would you like to take a look inside this eye-catcher on the Antwerp skyline? Or would you like to admire the port and city from a breathtaking perspective? Then pay a visit to the Port House and find out all about the daring architecture and how the port works.
During the tour, an expert guide will take you past all of the must-see places at the Port House, in both the old and new areas of the iconic building. In the atrium, you can take in the scale of the port and the city from the large aerial photo. You will be immersed in the architecture from top architect Zaha Hadid and in the role and functioning of the port of Antwerp, both now, in the past and in the future. You will be surprised by the impact this world port – the second-most important in Europe – has on our economy and employment. You will also find out more about what the role of Port of Antwerp is.
This tour through the imposing Port House, the perfect combination of economic port activity based in an architectural jewel, will undoubtedly leave an unforgettable impression on you.
Children must be at least 6 years old for a tour and a great many staircases will be used during the tour. Good physical fitness is required.
Is the Port House accessible by day?
Only the Atrium, the reception area on the ground floor, is freely accessible during office hours. (Not while the COVID-19 measures are in force) The other parts of the buildings can only be visited if accompanied by a guide.
Is there parking available at the Port House?
Parking is available at Parking ‘Straatsburg’, opposite the Port House, next to the Pomphuis restaurant.
The story of the port’s history, the port of today and the future of our port
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