Zaha Hadid's highly anticipated shipping port looks like a floating ship made of diamonds

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

ZHA_Port House_Antwerp_∏Hufton+Crow_007When renowned architect Zaha Hadid died suddenly in March 2016, she left behind a legacy of award-winning buildings around the world. Approximately 13 of her designs were in various states of completion when she passed, including the Antwerp Port House designed in 2009.

On September 22, the Belgian city inaugurated the new shipping port — the first of four Hadid buildings to open this fall. The estimated construction cost was $55.6 million, including a $2.3 million government subsidy.

ZHA_Port House_Antwerp_∏Hufton+Crow_001Hufton + Crow

Sitting on the edge of the water, the Port House will serve as the headquarters for Antwerp's port, which spans over seven miles of dock. As Europe's second largest shipping port, it sees 15,000 trade ships and 60,000 inland boats every year. Antwerp handles 26% of Europe's container shipping, amounting to more than 200 million tons of goods annually.

ZHA_Port House_Antwerp_∏Hufton+Crow_013Hufton + Crow

The 129,000-square-foot, 95 year-old building was once an abandoned fire station. On top of the repurposed station, there's a massive glass sculpture, which resembles a ship made from diamonds. Some windows are transparent, while others are reflective, meant to mimic the way diamonds sparkle.

ZHA_Port House_Antwerp_∏Hufton+Crow_010Hufton + Crow

ZHA_Port House_Antwerp_∏Hufton+Crow_004Hufton + Crow

The structure is a nod to Antwerp's booming diamond industry (The city is often referred to as the "diamond capital of the world," since around $34 billion worth of jewels are traded there every year).

The inside will feature offices and a café where employees can mingle and eat. The port's staff of 500 people previously worked in separate buildings throughout the city, but the Port House will now serve as their permanent workplace.

SEE MORE: Zaha Hadid's most notable work:

8 PHOTOS
Zaha Hadid most notable work
See Gallery
Zaha Hadid most notable work

Completed in 2003, the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati was Hadid's first project in the United States. It was a huge critical success.

After the success of the Rosenthal Center, Hadid was hired for several other projects. The BMW Central Building in Leipzig, Germany was among the first. It was completed in May 2005.

And she designed the Phaeno Science Center in Wolfsburg, Germany, which was also completed in 2005. The New York Times called it "the kind of building that utterly transforms our vision of the future."

She designed the Bridge Pavilion in Zaragoza, Spain as one of the main landmarks for Expo 2008. The 919-foot covered bridge spans the River Ebro.

Hadid was commissioned to build the aquatics center in London before the city even won the bid for the 2012 Olympics. It has two 50-meter pools and a diving pool.

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - 2015/03/01: A general view of the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center. (Photo by Aziz Karimov/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A security guard is seen at Wangjing Soho on a hazy day, in Beijing, China, December 8, 2015. China's capital on Monday issued its first ever "red alert" for pollution, as the city government warned that Beijing would be shrouded in heavy smog from Tuesday until Thursday. REUTERS/Jason Lee
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Hadid was known for big budget, neofuturistic works like the Port House. She was also the first Muslim woman to win a Pritzker Prize, an award considered to be the Nobel Prize of architecture. Over the span of her four-decade career, she created numerous acclaimed buildings, many of which were characterized by sweeping curves and geometric forms.

Her new creation for Antwerp is certainly one of the most glamorous shipping ports we've seen.

See Also:

Read Full Story

Sign up for Travel Report by AOL to
 get top travel deals and inspiration delivered to your inbox daily.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners