The Van Cauwelaert locks in the industrial docklands of Antwerp desperately needed renovating. Newly developed doors placed in the locks as part of a huge mobility programme for Antwerp’s roads and harbours. The sensitive technical components specially designed for these locks, are protected by two Machine Buildings measuring 50m x 12m x 7.5m high. This very rare commission was granted to Angie Abbink bij the Flemish Government Architect by means of the Meesterproef, a masterclass selection for young architects. Two extraordinary qualities of the environment form the basis for the design: the Machineworld of the harbour, a world where machines rule and humans are merely visitors, and the original natural world on the banks of the Schelde river where nature silently conquers the machines where possible. The concrete ground is folded back upon itself and offers nature a new battlefield.