The Yokohama International Ferry Terminal is a new type of transportation space integrated with urban facilities. Rather than conceiving of the building as an object on the pier, detached from its context, it is designed as an extension of the pier ground, simultaneously hosting the terminal functions and creating a very large urban park on the roof of the terminal.
To ensure maximum urban life throughout the terminal, the building is organised around a circulation system which challenges both the linear structure characteristic of piers, and the directionality of the circulation, using a series of programmatically-specific interlocking circulation loops designed to produce an uninterrupted and multi-directional space, rather than a conventional gateway to flows of fixed orientation.
The building is designed as an extension of the urban ground; constructed as a systematic transformation of the lines of the circulation diagram into a folded and bifurcated surface which hosts the alternative program. In order to maximise flexibility, a unique structural system is designed as an integral part of the folded surface, avoiding interruptions due to vertical structure. A hybrid structural system of steel trussed folded plate and concrete girders allows the structural system to be coincident with the diagonal folded surface, especially adequate in coping with the lateral forces generated by the seismic movements which characterise Japanese geography. The tectonic system of the folded surface maximises the cruise terminal’s flexibility - both hybridising the circulation, program and structural system and exploiting their differences to produce spatial variety.