Canadian architects Ja StudioInc in collaboration with Tadj –Farzin studio shared with us their proposal for the Kaohsiung Port and Cruise Service Center International Competition. More images and architect’s description after the break.
Waterfront edge is perhaps the most unique urban condition for a city thus waterfront buildings will always play an urban role regardless of their architecture and program. The common design challenge is to maintain the public accessibility of the water edge while creating density and urbanity along the waterfront. In the case of Kaohsiung Port and Cruise Service Center, security adds another twist to an already challenging condition.
Our proposal is an attempt to preserve the continuity of public access to the waterfront edge by Extending the water front park underneath the elevated terminal and service center building. The design challenge is to create coexistence between the building and the park that allows each to give vibrancy to the other without complicating each other’s flow and functionality.
There are three major components to the project: The Park, the terminal and the service building ellipsoid. The park- The introduction of the continuation of the water front park in between the two levels of the terminal building would elevate the notion of sustainability from common practice of minimizing the negative impacts of the building on nature to a new level in which the building becomes the generator of new ecologies. Promoting the native plants of twain Bamboo trees are the dominant plants in the park. Soaring high the trees enters the sky level of the terminal creating unique opportunities for “tree top cafes and lounges “while at the base the culms of the trees act as an effective wind buffer.
The users of the terminal will have the opportunity to enjoy this vibrant park and the users of the park are provided with natural surveillance due to the long hours of the terminal’s operation. The landscape would be continually evolving along the conditions provided by the architecture; shade, slope, topography and wind protection… The park is created on top of the ground floor of the terminal therefore the height difference between the park and the dock operation area, would prevent access and interference between the two and maintain the separation of the controlled zones and the park.
The Terminal- The terminal is split into two levels; the ground level, accessed from the street, which provides spaces for ground related functions (baggage check-in and handling) and the sky level which contains functions directly related to boarding and discharging the cruise ships. The connection between the two levels is provided by a series of escalators enclosed in glass tubes. Departing passengers would enter the terminal at the ground level, check in their baggage and get on the escalators to reach the sky level of the terminal, moving up they will have the unique experience of a sectional travel through the park. The sky level is a single storey expansive building that is floating above the landscape.
The building is punctured on both the ceiling and floor to provide light and views to the park as well as to create a sense of lightness to the building’s presence. This elevated building provides the space for departure and arrival hall, boarding concourse, commercial duty free and the multi-purpose room for the terminal. A series of elevators would provide the barrier free accessibility. The voids punched in the elevated building create a range of typological condition for the elevated building and the space below. Some voids are covered with glass block to pass the light to below, without blocking the space of the terminal, and some are enclosed by glass wall on the sides to create covered outdoor patios for the commercial spaces of the terminal.
The Service Center Ellipsoid- The third component of the project is the service center designed as an asymmetrical ellipsoid that gently sits on the landscape of the park and is connected to the sky level of the terminal. Two major types of floors exist in the service center building are; office floors and ancillary floors. The entry to the service building is provided from the east side of the site to avoid interference with the traveler’s traffic on the north.
At the end the project experience would be a series of grand architectural gestures; starting with the view from the car drop-off zone to the soffit of the elevated building populated with the footprint of people walking on glass floors, the undulating space underneath the park, the passage in the enclosed escalators through the park, the light and airy elevated building all the way to the boarding concourse with intense proximity to the cruise ships, the experience of the PNCSC would be a unique prelude to the journey of the departing travelers and a pleasant ending for the arriving passengers descending in the escalators and waiving to their loved ones waiting in the park.