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Investment plan: DP World Antwerp invests in a new energy-efficient building at the Deurganckdok

14 February 2019

DP World Antwerp is constructing a new operations (OPS) building at the Deurganckdok. The new building is part of a recently announced €200 million investment plan. The innovative infrastructure will be the beating heart of DP World Antwerp's port operations and will have facilities for dockers, management, the CEO and several administrative services under one roof. 

The new operations (OPS) building is the first announcement part of DP World Antwerp's three-year investment plan worth around €200 million. The project will start this fall and will last 20 months. Ever since the start of the terminal, there were plans to construct a new building. The old and 'temporary' building will make room for containers: almost 1000 ground slots will be created.

The building will be the beating heart of DP World Antwerp. The ground floor will be provided with facilities for port workers such as a canteen, changing rooms, lockers and sanitary facilities. On the upper floors, the operational employees, management and the CEO will move in, together with several administrative services.

The design had to consider high-voltage lines, rail bundles, roads, tunnels, water and gas pipelines. Project manager Mathieu Roels: "It is nothing less than a unique site. The building is planted in an almost inaccessible, but at the same time very visible place."

Focus on energy and mobility

The shape of the building, just like the dock, is remarkable: it is cut off on the head, parallel to the dock. This guarantees a maximum view on the operational activities and on the ships. The characteristic shape also provides great flexibility in terms of layout. The modern new building will be constructed on top of the Antwerp Gateway traffic lane. Trucks and other traffic will then be able to drive under the building.

The building is constructed entirely of glass, with subtly staggered layers. This refers to the activities of DP World Antwerp; the stacking of goods. Each layer then receives integrated lighting, so that it also forms a recognizable beacon in the evening and at night.

The building is also innovative in terms of sustainability. The glass is easy to maintain and highly sun-resistant thanks to a contemporary aluminum mesh between the glass tops. This ensures that the interior stays cool with a pleasant, filtered view facing outwards.

For a smooth shift change, 560 parking spaces will be provided in a new parking building. With the broader mobility plan of DP World Antwerp in mind, charging stations and bicycle sheds for e-bikes are also provided. There will also be an entry and exit zone for the transport of dock workers to the front quay. 

Architect Thomas Cols of Areal Architects: "For our firm this was quite a challenging assignment, partly because of the many preconditions attached to building on this site. In addition, there is a great flux of dock workers who leave and arrive, both during the day and at night. It is not just about a building, but also about a working infrastructure."