The port office
The evolving role of port authorities can be traced through the architecture of their headquarters. Prestigious city palaces tended to mark the vested power that fitted the historical, all-encompassing role of port authorities, whereas contemporary architecture displays a more functional and business-oriented profile. Other port authorities established themselves in former warehouses or passenger terminals, thus connecting with the industrial heritage of their ports. Whatever period they date from, port authority headquarters are generally landmark sites in the architectural landscape of port cities. ‘The Port Office’ tells the story of European port authorities through the architecture, art and design of their head offices, thus illustrating the rich diversity of European seaports.