Kaohsiung Marine Gateway

Kaohsiung, Taiwan
The Kaohsiung Marine Gateway Terminal, as envisioned by Asymptote, is at once a state of the art transportation interchange as it is a unique and distinctive urban destination being able to accommodate both large cruise ships and smaller and more frequent domestic ferry vessels. The building also serves as a large urban public facility housing a number of public amenities including exhibition and event halls, retail and cultural venues galleries and gathering places.

The ship terminal building itself is intended not only for national and international visitors but to also serve the diverse population of Kaohsiung, becoming both a symbol of the city and an extension of its urban space. The design of the architecture transforms the site into a dynamic urban hub and a global gateway that activates the city 24 hours a day. The port terminal is designed to invigorate Kaohsiung's city edge at the water, extending the urban realm and connecting the city to the vitality of new public recreational and commercial activities to be located along the waterfront.

Asymptote's design is comprised of two elegant towers and an elevated terminal hall that floats between them. On the exterior the complex boasts along with two tall towers for the local port authorities administrative offices, a waterside park, bicycle pathways, outdoor performance spaces and a number of other programs designed to activate the building by day and night.

The subtle and deliberate curvilinear forms of the terminal's architecture define not only a symbolic gesture but practically the sweeping canopies contain and protect a large open plaza activated by the flow of people moving between the harbor and the city. Viewed from the city, the terminal forms an urban gateway that frames the harbor beyond. The sculpted underside of the floating building provides shelter to the urban space while at night it provides dramatic illumination for the ongoing public activities, events and celebrations typical of the local culture. The interior of the terminal building provides a spectacular culmination; a soaring vertical space naturally lit from above leads up to the large clear span of the terminal hall with sweeping panoramas of the City and the Kaohsiung skyline on one side and of the Sea, the sky and the horizon on the other. These are experienced within a dramatic space defined by the sophisticated geometry of the curved shell roof where a unique pattern of skylights creates ever-changing spatial and light effects, celebrating the events of both arrival and departure.
Project Information
Date 2011

Size: 53,500 sqm

Location: Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Design Team:

Architect: Asymptote Architecture

Design: Hani Rashid, Lise Anne Couture

Project Director: John Guida

Design Team: Greg Derrico, Constantin Dohler, Brian Deluna, Danny Abalos, Du Ho Choi

Blake Altshuler, Josh Dannenberg, Oliver Dibrova, David Dolbniak, Claudia Friesz, Mar Goberna, Kristin Harbert, Zach Hines, John Hsu, Chris Johnson, Susan Kim, Ryan Kukuraitis, Fei Liang, Seung Mhi Lee, Jae Sung Lee, Jun Young Lee, Ryan Macyauski, Makiko Nukaga, Miljan Radojevic, Florian Rieser, Yun Shi, Penghan Wu, Xiang Zhang

Client: Taiwan international Ports Corp.


Local Architect: Artech Architects

Structural Engineer: Knippers Helbig Stuttgart

Local Structural Engineering: King Le Chang

Environmental Consultant: Transsolar

Cruise Consultant: Parsons Brinckerhoff

Electrical & Plumbing: Heng Kai

Traffic Engineering: Everest

SMEP Engineering: IS Lin Heng Kai

Geotechnical Engineering: Sinogeotechnology