Yokohama Port Terminal

The Yokohama International Port Terminal is a location of complex movement and interchange between visitors to Yokohama and its inhabitants, between differing modes of transportation, and between both urban and aquatic landscapes. This project sees in these dynamic exchanges an opportunity to celebrate the experience of fluid and uninterrupted streams of movement. Smooth and continuous movement will seamlessly define the port's internal functions as well as the terminal's relation to both city and sea.

The traditional function of such an urban gateway is to mark a threshold between the inhabitants of the city and the visitors traveling by sea. Similarly, port terminals historically symbolize a doorway to the city with a planar face that is neither part of the urban fabric nor part of the aquatic landscape beyond. This project, instead, provides a more continuous sequence rather than an abrupt transition between the land and sea by occupying the threshold and stretching the duration of arrival along the entire length of the pier. This extension establishes a gradual transition from the city and its landscapes to the sea and offers multiple opportunities to mix both visitors and citizens. The project captures the streams and flows of passengers and citizens in a dynamic mixture. It is not a vertical threshold that occurs abruptly but a horizontal duration of space and time between city and garden.

The transition occurs in two directions along the pier, the first from the sea into the city--which defines the port--and the second from the city to the water--which defines the garden. Each is spatially defined as a distinct tube that unrolls and flattens into a surface.

Upon arrival from the sea, a passenger passes through the volume of the terminal which gradually becomes the surface of the plaza.

Likewise, the citizen arrives in an enclosed garden whose natural terrain unfolds into the sea as a surface.
Because these sequences are passing through one another, the passengers arriving to the city of Yokohama are experiencing the citizens' garden. Similarly the citizens share in the experience of transportation. The project intermingles these two passages, so that one is always participating in aspects of both simultaneously.

In this way, the functions of garden and port are combined.

The architecture of this relationship of spaces is inherently topological. Because surfaces must transform into volumes, the materials and spaces must be able to mediate between degrees of interior and exterior in a fluid and continuous manner.

The surfaces of the passenger terminal and citizens' promenade are each rolled like two types of sushi; one with the space enclosed by a roll, (Maki) the other where the contents are wrapped on the outside of the roll (Ura-Maki.)

As these spaces pass though one another their interiors and exteriors intermingle. The surfaces of the two passages are defined by two distinct materials.

The walls and roof of the port, which has the greatest internal volume, is clad in lead coated stainless steel. This material provides durable enclosure to the extreme sea climate of the site.

Because the citizen's passage is related to the garden and water landscapes it is enclosed by a lightweight tent structure that filters natural light and allows for a more translucent connection to the city and sky.

Both of these volumes and surfaces would be structured by lightweight steel lattices, stabilized by steel cable trusses, spanning between portalized concrete walls.

Greg Lynn FORM, Hoboken, NJ

Donald Hearn
Kimberly Holden
Christian Hubert
Edward Keller
Gregg Pasquarelli
Amar Sen
Robert Vertes

Craig Schwitter, principle designer.


Ed Keller/Straylight Imaging, NYC

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