Embarcation as the Ultimate Experience: The Kaohsiung Port and Cruise Terminal Competition

by Stanley Collyer

 


Image: ©Reiser+Umemoto RUR with Fei & Cheng Associates' winning design (model perspective)


Many buildings in close proximity to bodies of water seem to have that joie de vivre about them. Whether it is Sea Ranch, The Bilbao Guggenheim, Oslo Opera House or summer residences in the Hamptons, the proximity of water somehow manages to stimulate designers to produce excitement in a relaxed atmosphere. From the Greek temples to Spas in England, construction of major structures on oceans and rivers was always more likely to reflect modern trends in architecture, rather than simply replicating a style from the past. Recent waterfront projects such as the Yokohama International Port Terminal—a competition won by Foreign Office Architects—and Canada Place in Vancouver are examples of cities recognizing the need to push the envelope when redesigning port terminal facilities. So it was with the results of the
Kaohsiung Port and Cruise Service Center competition .

Not only is Kaohsiung a major port facility on the island, it is seen as a major terminal for future water transit to the Chinese mainland. The goal of the competition was to identify a design that will enhance the travel experience of passengers, make it a principal departure destination for cruise ships, and provide recreational opportunities for the local populace. Moreover, it is understood that the new facility should add to the urban vitality of the immediate vicinity.

 


Aerial view of site

The Site

The entire Harbor site consists of an area measuring 6+ hectares, of which only 2.6 hectares was designated as the competition site for the project’s first phase. As might be expected, the site included two berths for ocean liners. Since the program was quite extensive, the major challenge was to design a facility which would fit well into a rather limited site, but present a friendly face both to the city and from the water.

Similar to many recent international competitions in Taiwan administered by competition adviser, Barry Cheng, this one was conducted in two stages, with five finalists advancing to the second stage for the ultimate prize—an $80M commission. The seven-member jury did have an international flavor, most notably Maximiliano Fuksas (Italy), Hisao Kohyama (Japan), and Hitoshi Abe (USA). During stage two, only six jurors provided comments, as Maximiliano Fuksas could not attend the final session. The five premiated finalists chosen by the first-stage panel and their final rankings after the second stage were:

 

First Prize
Reiser+Umemoto RUR Architecture PC, New York, NY
with Fei & Cheng Associates/Philip T.C. Fei, Taiwan

• Second Prize
Asymptote Architecture, New York, NY
with Artech Architects/Kris Yao, Taiwan

• Third Prize
Ricky Liu & Associates Architects+Planners, Taiwan
with Takenaka Corporation/Masahiro Morita, Japan

Honorable Mention-1
JET Architecture Inc./Edward Kim. Canada
with CXT Architects Inc./Dan Teh, Canada and Archasia Design Group/Sao-You, Taiwan

Honorable Mention-2
HMC Group Inc. / Raymond Pan, Los Angeles, California
with HOY Architects & Associates/Charles Hsueh, Taiwan


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