Futuristic ferry terminal would be right at home on a sci-fi movie set

Commissioned to transform the site of an existing cargo terminal in China into a new ferry terminal, MAD Architects has taken a typically unique approach. The firm draws inspiration from existing gantry cranes on the site to design a remarkably futuristic and alien-like complex that will be raised above the ground.

The project, named the Chongqing Cuntan International Cruise Centre, is being created in collaboration with the China Academy of Building Research and is slated for Chongqing, in central China. It will be situated on a site measuring 66,000 sq m (roughly 710,500 sq ft) that lies next to the Yangtze River. We’ve previously likened projects by the firm to alien outposts but this one really leans into the idea.

“These gantry cranes became living alien creatures that gave a sense of surrealism,” said MAD Architects founder Ma Yansong. “The new scheme is therefore not only about reflecting the industrial colors of the past, but also about respecting this original surrealism. We have designed the elevated buildings as if they were a futuristic, free-walking city, seemingly arriving here from elsewhere, and perhaps traveling elsewhere once again someday.

“Chongqing has mountains and waters. However, the Yangtze River is more than just a natural landscape in Chongqing. Because of human activities such as shipping traffic and industrial transport, this mountain city is also full of energy and movement. We want to transform this energy in Chongqing from traces of industry into an energy that stimulates the imagination. People can feel the kinetic energy of the city here, but also imagine the public spaces of the future.”

The Cuntan International Cruise Centre will be raised above the ground on a series of supports

MAD Architects

MAD envisions six interconnected buildings that are elevated to an unspecified level above the ground and measure a total of 430 m (1,410 ft) in length. Their curving orange aluminum exteriors are meant to accentuate the surreal overall feel of the project.

They will host retail space and restaurants, as well as what’s described as “urban halls,” and will be naturally illuminated with generous skylights and filled with greenery. Additionally, down on ground level will be a new hall and park, as well as a subterranean Cruise Centre Hub linking the park and elevated buildings.

It’s early days yet though and we’ll no doubt have more information as the project moves forward. Construction of the Chongqing Cuntan International Cruise Centre is due to begin in November 2022 and is expected to be completed by 2027.

Source: MAD

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