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Kaohsiung Port and Cruise Service Center

Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Program: Ship Terminal and Maritime Museum 

Client:  Kaohsiung Harbor Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications

Contact:  Ding-Hsun Hsiao, Director-General, +886-2-2349-2900

Area:  8,000 m2

Design Architect:   JET
Executive Architect:  CXT, Archasia
Status:  International Competition Finalist, Honorable Mention

JET was the Design Architect for the Kaohsiung Port & Cruise Service Center International Competition which was a finalist chosen out of 94 entries and received an Honorable Mention Award.

The proposal for the Kaohsiung Port and Cruise Service Center is based on the concept of “Open air”. The Open-air concept informs all aspects of the building design. It is a sustainable strategy for climatic control based on first principles of shelter and natural ventilation. The open-air design addresses the very specific parameters of a sub-tropical environment and includes calibrated systematic responses to the climatic conditions without compromising function or human comfort. Open-air design accommodates people in a natural environment, so that they can experience nature and architecture within close proximity to the sea. The visitor’s visceral awareness of the sea is heightened where the built form promotes visual and sensory connections to Kaohsiung’s waterfront.

Functionally, the Port and Cruise Service Center is designed to facilitate the movement of passengers, tourists and clients, nationally and internationally. This intent is articulated through the streamlined forms that guide the direction and flow of activity, all arranged under the natural backdrop of sky and sea. Its aim is to energize Kaohsiung’s waterfront through contemporary architecture to improve public connectivity and to meet the cultural and recreational needs of the city. The new terminal will be an iconic gateway to Kaohsiung and will be the focal point of a vibrant new waterfront district.

The design solution elegantly addresses its surrounding context. For instance, it effectively maintains and enhances the waterfront while accommodating the large volume of vehicular and pedestrian traffic, improving accessibility to the waterfront. The opening up of the ground plane, afforded by the elevation of the main program space, fulfills various functions: It frames the view from the city out to the water, offers a great viewpoint of from within the structure, and allows the freed ground plane to be used as multifunctional public open space.

In addition to opening the terminal facilities to the public as a public plaza, a maritime museum has been programmed inside the terminal to allow visitors to experience and learn about the maritime history of Kaohsiung.  The form of building and the construction approach which utilizes methods from the ship building industry all celebrate the maritime heritage of Kaohsiung.

The rhythm of open plazas and building volumes create a dialogue, a conversation in which the city’s infrastructure, the waterfront, and the people all take part in as they experience the site whether from within, afar, approaching or departing from it.

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