Foster + Partners-designed cruise terminal boasts stunning outdoor spaces with a cascading terrace

Hong Kong has welcomed the opening of its latest cruise terminal. The Foster + Partners-designed Ocean Terminal extension comprises a five-storey multi-purpose building boasting three lower floors dedicated to the Harbour City shopping complex and two upper floors for car parking.


A new gateway for thousands of international cruise liner passengers, the extension to the Ocean Terminal in Harbour City, Hong Kong, has opened to the public. With stunning new outdoor spaces for dining and leisure capitalising on the unmatched panoramic views of the harbour, this new expansion will be the best place for visitors to immerse themselves in a unique waterfront experience, creating a new landmark for Hong Kong.

The terminal has the distinct advantage of being located directly opposite Victoria Harbour, boasting unrivalled views of Hong Kong’s iconic skyline. Standing right on the water’s edge, visitors have 270° views of the city, from the Kowloon Peninsula in the northeast to Causeway Bay in the south-east. This new public plaza – in the form of cascading terraces looking out towards the harbour – provides a new outdoor space for the people of Hong Kong and a distinctive gateway to the city for its visitors. The building embraces the city’s al-fresco dining culture, turning the undeveloped end of the cruise terminal into a vibrant entertainment hub right in the centre of the city harbour.

Luke Fox, Head of Studio and Senior Executive Partner at Foster + Partners, said: “By introducing a new series of public spaces to the site, right down to the waterfront edge, we aim to create a ‘new living room’ for the people of Hong Kong and its visitors right in the heart of the city.”

Architecturally, the form of the building is a direct response to its climatic context. Its wide cantilevered terraces shade the lower levels, protecting them from the harsh tropical sun. The balustrades, angled to tie in with the overall geometry of the building, extend downwards as louvred shading devices for the terrace below. The building also offers retail, dining and lounge facilities, with a stepped outdoor seating area from which to sit and enjoy the view. The steps feature glass risers that admit natural light deep into the internal atrium. The connection to the existing terminal is seamless, and the design introduces a new central diagonal circulation spine that connects the roof level to the marine deck, both physically and visually, via a series of escalators cascading down through the public spaces.

Fact File

Client: Harbour City Estates
Appointment: November 2012
Construction start date: 2014
Completion: 2017
Site area: 6033m²
Area (gross): 9300m²
Green area: 1229m²
Number of floors: five
• Marine deck level – F+B & Cruise facilities
• Deck one to deck three – F+B and retail
• Roof – garden and event spaces
Height: total of roof – 24.52mPD; overall building height ~20.3m
Length: 62m
Width: 57m
Capacity: 4162 people
• Bore pile to seabed foundation
• New structure installed in between existing piles and beams
• Steel structural frame
• Building envelope mainly aluminium cladding on steel frame
• Large-format low-e glazing units
Parking facilities:
• Coaches: six
• Car parking provided in the existing building: 1160
• Glazing
• Aluminium cladding
• Krion
Sustainable features:
• Soffit designed to taper out to minimum thickness enhancing the architecture and to maximise frontage out to the surrounding environment
• At the southern and northern sides, the terraces have a shading mechanism to minimise solar gain from the high-level sun
• All large-format glazing units are double low-e coated glazing, meeting OTTV requirements for building efficiency
• Link bridge provides building permeability for enhanced
natural ventilation
• Terraced steps intended to function as a lighting device where natural daylight is introduced through the glazed slots between the steps into the internal atrium space reducing the need for artificial lighting during the day Water-efficient fittings.

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