A foundation stone laying ceremony, attended by the Chief Executive of HKSAR, senior government officials and representatives of the architects Foster + Partners and Dragages team, has been held recently to mark the start of construction of the new Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in Hong Kong. Reinventing the site of the former Kai Tak airport as one of the world’s foremost cruise terminals, the project will create a sustainable new gateway to the city and a major entertainment destination for residents.
The site on the south-western tip of the old runway has dramatic unobstructed views of the eastern entrance to Hong Kong harbour, framing both Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. The terminal has a large, rectangular footprint and is arranged over three main levels, punctuated by four atria that draw daylight deep inside the building. A pedestrian promenade rises up through the terminal and opens onto a large public roof garden, with open and sheltered spaces for picnics, outdoor dining and more formal events such as wedding banquets, all set against the stunning backdrop of the city.
The terminal will have the capacity to disembark a total of 8,400 passengers and 1,200 crew and its design also anticipates the demands of a new generation of larger cruise liners currently being designed. The spacious interior, which spans 70 metres, is highly flexible – the concourse areas can be converted into a venue for performances, events and exhibitions, supported by the terminal’s wide variety of restaurants and shops – this ensures that the building will be used all year round and can fully utilise down time. The sustainable design combines a number of energy saving measures and will generate power from renewable sources, as well as making use of recycled rain water for cooling.
IMAGE CREDIT: FOSTER+PARTNERS