"What is architect Zaha Hadid smoking?," asks the oldest Antwerp Port Authority board member. "We don't know," say the rest of the Belgian board members, "but give whatever it is to all the other architects." Apologies to Abe Lincoln for that made-up remark.
This incongruous addition to Antwerp, Belgium's staid Fire Brigade building will jut out from the existing structure's inner courtyard, and will be the workplace of 500 busy port office employees. The majestic five-story headquarters for the Antwerp Port Authority will house offices, meeting rooms, an auditorium, and a restaurant.
Construction will be completed by 2013 for the cool sum of $41.3 million, and from the looks of it, will be worth every penny in sheer laughs alone. The swooping modern design deserves our respect, though, and we're laughing along with this architectural masterpiece, not at it.