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Antwerp, BELGIUM

Antwerp Port House

Public/Government Building

An impressive volume of glass panels for Antwerp's Port Authority new headquarters.


Antwerp's latest architectural jewel by Zaha Hadid is the Antwerp Port Authority new headquarters. A “funky and innovative building” that will stand as a symbolic gateway to the port area.

The new Port Authority Headquarters – the future Port House – is located on the boundary between the city of Antwerp, in Belgium and its harbor.

The renowned Zaha Hadid Architects firm designed this impressive faceted glass volume siting on the roof of a century-old fire station for Antwerp's Port Authority new headquarters.

The project measures over 100 meters in length which almost matches the scale of the former fire station below it. Thanks to this extension, the building will be able to host 500 Port Authority employees who were previously working across separate sites in the Belgian city.

The building overlooks both port and city, and shimmers as if in motion, an effect amplified by a massive angled concrete “leg” and cantilever at one end, and faceted triangular glass panels on the other.

The extension is covered in transparent and opaque triangular facets arranged to create a flat surface at the south end and a rippling texture that echoes the water at the north. This architectural choice of design is intended to visually break up the scale of the structure. It is also been thought to provide ample daylight, shade and views out to the Scheldt river, city and port for workers.

One of the challenges for the project was to ensure that none of the original facades of the fire station were concealed as it is heritage listed. That is why this extension was to be elevated above the roof. The fire station's central courtyard has also been enclosed with glass and now forms the main reception for Port House.

Products Used

Saint-Gobain was proud to participate to this project by providing quality glazing for this “shimmering glass cloud”.

The facade of the new extension consists of Saint-Gobain COOL-LITE® KS 147 glazing with more or less 14 different compositions of Silver Acoustic / Silence.  

This modern noise control glazing allows keeping intrusive noise out, providing the tranquility essential for working and living. A benefit that was needed for the Port House that combined it with a solar control glazing from the COOL-LITE® range for providing multi-functional glazing options.

Spandrel glass was also used to prevent materials or construction elements from being viewed from the exterior of a building. Saint-Gobain provided insulated spandrels silkscreen printed with EMALIT EVOLUTION, the enamel with 0% of lead. The result is a colored and opaque glazing, extremely stable in time, for an aesthetically clean appearance and uniformly coloured panels. Three different products were used as substrates for the spandrels :

  • PLANICLEAR, to increase the level of solar gain and to contribute to a high level of light transmission,
  • DIAMANT, for its attractive appearance, higher level of light transmission and optical qualities,
  • ANTELIO SILVER not only for being a solar control glazing, but also because using Antelio enameled in spandrel panels gives a uniform appearance between vision and non-vision areas.

Saint-Gobain products contributed to the certification BREEAM “VERY GOOD” the project obtained.

Project Details

Date & location

2016, Belgium


Marc Sourbron


Zaha Hadid Architects



Possible Associations

SGG DIAMANT | Saint-Gobain Building Glass SGG DIAMANT

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