Caruso St John Architects

1995
Location: Yokohama, JP
Client: City of Yokohama
Project Status: Competition, honourable mention

This design for the Yokohama International Port Terminal interweaves the public and passenger functions of the building into an organic whole that has the richness and complexity of a large garden or a small city. The different parts of the building are distributed along the length of the site, on a number of levels. The adjacency and overlapping of these parts result in rich visual relationships and complex routes. An enclosing wall and large openings to the sky serve to intensify the dense pattern of the building's programme, creating a loose structure of difference, which resembles that of a garden or a natural topography. The terminal building becomes a kind of walled garden, where the enclosing perimeter occludes views of the harbour and the Minato district of Yokohama. The cosmic scale of the sky and of Tokyo Bay is juxtaposed with an interior of sensual and gregarious interaction. The concept of Niwaminato is interpreted through this contrast: a close and complex interior within the unified image of the exterior.