The Antwerp Zuiderpershuis (1883-1977) is a hydraulic power station that supplied energy to approximately 200 pieces of port machinery. As such, it played an important role in the rise of Antwerp as a port of global renown. Eight such power stations were built in Antwerp between 1865 and 1904. Of these, the Zuiderpershuis has been best preserved. It consists of two towers with accumulators, a machine hall, two boiler rooms, an annealing furnace, a forge, workshops with turning machines, workbenches and molds, a wood workshop and a first-aid post. Apart from the accumulators in canal lifts 2 and 3 alongside the Canal du Centre (Strépy), those in the Zuiderpershuis are the only remaining units in Belgium!
Shortly after the closure in 1977, the complex was protected as a monument. Nevertheless, it was in poor condition. The site was likely to disappear, in part because of the growing interest of real estate developers. A first attempt at reconversion was taken by the Internationale Nieuwe Scène, a travelling theatre company housed in the complex since the early 1980s. To ensure the future of the Zuiderpershuis, the not-for-profit association Zuiderpershuis vzw was established. The complex was given in emphyteusis to the newly founded association on the condition that the organisation would restore the building(s), establish a spectacle hall and start a cultural centre. Today, the Zuiderpershuis is at full force. People can enjoy a broad range of cultural activities there and learn about an important piece of industrial port history.