Zaha Hadid Architects turned to ASI Group Europe for custom-made Alpaco HPL cubicles to meet their brief for creating stunning washrooms at the new Port of Antwerp office in Antwerp, Belgium.

The second largest port in Europe and fifth largest in the world, the Port of Antwerp needed a new workplace after having outgrown the space at their existing address. To maintain the port’s prominence in an ever-expanding international arena, the city needed a sustainable, future-proof workplace, with a design that represented the city’s past, present and future.

A historic fire station dating from 1911 was selected as the site for the new head office, and an architectural competition opened up the field for architects with a brief to design a building that captured the spirit of Antwerp. According to Marc Van Peel, president, Port of Antwerp, “only one rule was laid down in the architectural competition… namely, that the original building had to be preserved.”

The (late) world renowned architect Zaha Hadid’s imaginative vision for Port House captured the hearts and minds of competition judges, and she was awarded the privilege of designing the new ‘jewel’ of the port. Her challenge was to design an iconic building that was inspirational yet functional – both inside and outside. To achieve this harmony, it was critical that the building’s interior maintained the uniqueness of the superstructure, while meeting very specific functional needs.

Hadid effortlessly juxtaposed Antwerp’s past with its future, incorporating its maritime significance as well as its status as the world’s Diamond Capital. The multi-storey diamond shaped structure includes restaurants and an auditorium. Keeping future growth in mind, the office, which currently supports 450 employees, can be expanded to accommodate 600 employees.

To complement the iconic structure and allow future workforce expansion, the building needed iconic washroom facilities that guaranteed sophistication, privacy, and the flexibility to grow. To deliver on these lofty washroom design requirements, Zaha Hadid Architects turned to ASI Group Europe for the supply of custom-made, extra-height black Alpaco partitions designed to provide superior privacy in the stunning washrooms. Elegant stainless steel hardware accents enhance the washroom design, adding distinction worthy of the building’s reputation and a touch of modern aesthetics.