Next event:
ERINN SAVAGE – Performance
Tomorrow 15:00 GMT

Human-Machine Interaction

The Thesis Project speculates on the impacts of AI, the robotization of labour market and the growing inclination towards automation and replacement of human jobs by machines, as well as seeking to define new parameters for a post-capitalist society through the design of a new typology building which combines a ‘human’ and ‘machine’ programme.

Antwerp and its port

Over the years, Antwerp’s identity and territorial expansion has been strongly connected with its port (ranked second in Europe after Rotterdam) representing the main economic driver for the city and the whole Flemish region (approximately 10% of the GDP and a total of 140.000 in between direct and indirect employees).

Race to automation

The race to productivity, efficiency and international competitiveness of today societies, is leading the Port of Antwerp to invest more and more into new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), drones, self-driving vehicles, automated cranes and many others; a tendency poised to change not only the logistics and shipping industry but also other sectors.

Future Port of AntwerpFuture Port of Antwerp

Antwerp World Expo 2055 | Poster and Tour Map

The proposal is set in a future scenario (2055) where Antwerp will be hosting the World Expo, an international exhibition designed to celebrate the achievements of the future automated Port of Antwerp. The event will lead to the construction of a new Institutional building located in the fraction of water separating the city and port area, establishing a new dialogue between the machine and human environment.

Building program

The building design takes the shape of a tower acting both as a gate to the port as well as the culminating entity of Het Eljiande district cultural axis, dominating Antwerp’ skyline and the former Port Authority. The building programme includes: . Data centre, digital infrastructure governing the automated port (machine); . Leisure, education and expo activities to entertain Antwerp’ citizens and visitors (human); . Cable car station as the new transport link between the tower and remaining Expo buildings in the locks; . Drone port occupied by drones whose purpose is to monitor the port landscape; These two main blocks are detached by a central atrium bringing light in and allowing drones to move freely.


The section suggest Structurally, the building is defined by a modular layout in the south-side block due to the scalability and change in size of the data centre, while the north-side block is characterized by a hybrid truss system, allowing big open spaces for flexible and adaptable uses in order to respond to people needs and requests. To conclude, the two concrete cores stabilize the entire structure crowned by a system of 3d printers, cranes and robotic arms which automate its own construction.

Data Centre

The building environmental strategy foresees the reuse of exhausted heating produced by the data centre into leisure activities such as the swimming pool, sauna and showers or energy supply for the rest of the building. Therefore, this new sustainable data centre concept strives to transform this high energy-consuming typology into an energy-producing resource for communities to generate their own power.

Entrance view