Zaha Hadid’s Havenhuis, Antwerp

The Havenhuis (Port House) was opened in 2016 as the new headquarters of the Antwerp Port Authority. Designed by leading architect Zaha Hadid, the building is an architectural masterpiece that seamlessly blends old and new.

The building is based around the old fire station, which is a listed building. Above this sweeps the new construction: Reminiscent of a ship, this 1,500-metric-ton steel structure appears to defy gravity and is secured by a gigantic concrete anchor. When renovating the facade and interior, the project had to comply with both the architect’s requirements and the monument protection regulations.

BASF products in use

The difficulty in this project lay in not only modernizing the building, but giving it an entirely new function. The former fire station was to be turned into an innovative workplace for the 500 employees of the port authority, including offices, meeting rooms, a canteen and an auditorium fitted with state-of-the-art technology.

Indoor flooring solutions

The building’s entrance area features a gray polished floor made of concrete mixed with MasterTop 135, a quartz-based hardener for dry surfaces that increases the floor’s abrasion resistance. This product ensures low porosity and maximum surface compaction – crucial properties for areas with high footfall, as is expected in the entrance hall of the building.

When designing and equipping the offices and meeting rooms, particular attention was paid to employee comfort. These spaces perfectly combine aesthetics and function. The materials used had to meet the very highest quality standards while also being durable and requiring little maintenance – requirements that MasterTop 1324 meets perfectly. This polyurethane-based floor system stands out thanks to its high walking comfort, excellent abrasion resistance and absorption, as well as its high impact strength.

Although each room has a specific, clearly defined function, the seamless MasterTop 1324 floor creates the impression of a single endless space. The fluid transitions encourage open exchange and conjure up images of the sea, which is visible from the large panoramic windows as it laps around the building.

In the canteen kitchen, the main priority was meeting the most stringent hygiene standards. The solution of choice here was MasterTop 1250, an epoxy-based flooring product that is extremely easy to clean.

MasterTop 1324 fulfills the project’s environmental requirements and guarantees a healthy working environment. Like all MasterTop products, it has been awarded the DGNB Navigator Label and emits virtually no volatile organic compounds (VOC). This was confirmed by Eurofins Scientific and the German government’s Committee for Health-Related Evaluation of Building Products (AgBB). In addition, MasterTop 1324 is listed in the Building Research Establishment’s (BRE) Green Guide, which helps designers and planners choose environmentally friendly construction materials and components.