Competition Entry, Kaohsiung Cruise Terminal and Port Service Center Gate of Kaohsiung is a new gateway into the city, a contemporary version of the traditional city gate. The large table-like gateway creates space on its top for port service offices. At the table’s base is a large covered plaza and Kaohsiung’s cruise terminal.
The form’s scale creates a threshold for both passengers and large cruise ships. It acts on its own as a destination, attracting the eye of all ships and passengers in the harbor. Unlike a traditional city gate, the table creates a shaded and dry public space during Kaohsiung’s sunny, hot days and the rainy season, making it appropriate to its climate and context.
The table top holds offices of the port and cruise service center. This slab shades the open arrival and departure public plaza below. One works on the table top and plays under the table. Deep hybrid Vierendeel-bowstring trusses span over the plaza plinth below and leave an open office on the table top, daylit from above through a sun screen. Office support spaces are within the table top. The roof and plinth harvest rainwater for graywater use and reserved in pools.
The form reads as a pure white line framing the city in 4 directions beyond, a lookout onto a future in the new Kaohsiung and Southern Taiwan. Once through the terminal, the plaza is a departure point to the city and beyond. The long granite plaza connects the adjacent future hotel, resort, park, and retail development. The plaza floor is carpeted with a pattern of trees, grasses, and color to create micro-environments and intimate spaces. On the plinth sit the table, a terraced resort, and hotel towers. Parking, terminal drop-off and pick-up traffic, and retail spaces fit under the plinth.
Instead of consolidating the Terminal and Service Center into one object, Gate of Kaohsiung separates each program into a ground and roof to create an urban room. This large urban room makes space for civic life sheltered from Kaohsiung’s tropical climate.