Port House designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, Antwerp, Belgium
© Dmitry Rukhlenko/Alam
A future built on the past. World Architecture Day
The Port Authority Building (aka Port House) in the Belgian city of Antwerp is a gleaming obelisk perched above a building from centuries past. This striking structure was the vision Zaha Hadid created with her team at Zaha Hadid Architects, which won a 2009 competition to build the new building around a historic fire station. Work completed in 2016, the same year the famed architect died. The expansion is intended to resemble the hull of a sailing ship, with a protruding bow glimmering with diamonds, recalling Antwerp’s longtime trade in precious stones.
Today we celebrate World Architecture Day and its 2022 theme of ‘Architecture for wellbeing’. Architecture that preserves historic buildings by combining them with modern structures is becoming more popular as cities try to retain elements of their past while creating new, modern spaces and never-before-seen constructions. Some famous examples of this style include the Brooklyn Museum in New York City, the Museum of Military History in Dresden, Germany and another Hadid design, St Antony's College at Oxford University.