Excellent Design Creates Better Performance

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Interweaving connections: Terminal designed as a new gateway to Kaohsiung

HMC Architects' design for the new Kaohsiung Port and Cruise Terminal envisions an iconic gateway that engages the city and its people. With its striking waterfront presence, the architecture serves as a physical and economical impetus to the City’s goal of transforming its waterfront from its industrial past into a cultural centre. The proposed 300,000-sq-ft terminal consists of cruise and international ferry terminals, 700-space subterranean parking garage, and an eight-storey Port Bureau office.

The design solution is purposeful - its form emerges from various environmental and programmatic factors. The undulating skin is carefully calibrated to the path of the sun and wind in order to minimise the solar radiation, and the building envelope achieves efficient energy performance through the calculated curves and tilting for self-shading. It is an adaptive and sustainable design solution that takes inspiration from nature and seeks to provide a stimulating experience for the visitor.

The architects recognise that today's terminal is no longer solely a transportation hub but rather an integration of social and cultural meeting places, so have allowed the public park to occupy the predominant roof top deck. The elevated boardwalk creates a new urban datum and links the pedestrian corridor, public park and terminal rooftop by a continuous landscape. The design provides spaces for leisure and relaxation amid the fast-paced movements.

The circulation pattern, based on the sequence of departing and arriving travelers, is a generative factor in the fluid form. The transparent atrium between the two interweaving programs - port bureau office tower and cruise terminal plinth - is the location of the inviting lobby and waiting spaces filled with natural daylight and views to the vast marine-scape. The heart of the design lies in this fluid relationship between the controlled programs of the interior with the vibrant openness of the exterior. It is within these compelling urban transitions that opportunities for interaction are fostered and a powerful urban landmark is achieved.

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