Port House designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, Antwerp, Belgium
© Dmitry Rukhlenko/Alam
A future built on the past. World Architecture Day
Antwerp’s Port Authority Building (aka Port House) 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 firehouse. 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 prevalent as cities seek to retain the spirit of their earlier incarnations 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 in Oxford, England.