The Port of Seville needed a new Cruise Ship Terminal with a flexible character, multipurpose, extendable, easily removable and even movable. This would permit to accomodate the unpredictable number of passengers in the port and it would not limit the possibilities of the urban-port valuable space of the Muelle de las Delicias. Re-using shipping containers was proposed. On the other hand, the place, near the historic centre, was claiming an object of architectural quality to dialogue with its urban environment.
The on-site construction work could only last 15 days, the maximum time between two consecutive cruises docking. The modular construction with recycled shipping containers would be mostly finished in workshop, it will ensure the precision of the on-site work and it would guarantee to finish the works on time.The terminal’s sustainable design takes advantage of the constructive and plastic potential of the re-used containers, adapting them to an environment and to a concrete climate. The heat of the sun in Seville over the metal envelope could turn the terminal into an oven. The bioclimatic strategies are, therefore, essential.
The “high cube” containers are placed in parallel separated one-container distance, and over these spaces between them, the standard containers are placed. The floor of these ones is cut out and placed down at the level of the high cube ones. The double-height spaces obtained make the inside volume bigger. On the west and east side of these upper containers, opening windows allow the winds to clear the heat, that comes up by air stratification. The exterior white painting reflects up to 90 per cent of the solar radiation and its special composition with ceramic microspheres avoids its excessive warming.
To get the big open hall required in spite of the width container limitation, the space is designed transversally to them. In the side ribbed sheet of the lower high-cube containers, the maximum openings are cut out, taking care not to compromise structural stability both in the final phase and during transport, assembly and dismantling. This way, the big unified space, functionally-needed, is obtained.The upper standard containers are open to the north and they act like skylights. The generated lights and shades as well as the structural remains of ribbed sheet show internally the different juxtaposed container spaces, remembering the succession of the traditional port buildings. As the upper containers are separated and projected beyond the lower ones as a cantilever towards the river, each one of them is clearly recognized.
The lower level, more massive, is lower than the immediate town surroundings. The separated skylight-containers allow to contemplate both sides of the river in between them. Closely, they clearly show their sea-container nature. From the other shore, Los Remedios, they seem a low basement in form of checkerboard, not competing against the regionalist architecture behind them. The doors removed from the upper containers are reused inside the building. The original flooring is also reused, once restored. The wall finishing does not try to conceal the industrial details that make possible to recognize the containers, giving a distinctive personality to the space.
According to the registrations, each one the 23 Korean re-used containers (Hanjin trademark) has covered 1.150.000 km. This is equivalent to three times the trip from the earth to the moon or to 29 trips around the world. Their lives are not over. They continue more quietly.While the terminal is not being used by the port, it can be rented to be used as an exhibition pavilion, as a showroom or even as a concert space.A long journey from Korea having an honorable end.