It’s not everyday you’d find me talking about a ferry terminal, but bear with me, this one’s pretty special. The Osanbashi International Passenger Terminal, or Ōsanbashi Pier (大さん橋) as it’s known, is located between Minato Mirai and Yamashita Park along the waterfront.
Looking like a cross between an emerging submarine and a futuristic spaceship, wooden decking fluidly envelopes the roof and walkways.
From ground level the decking leads visitors up to an open-air plaza which is open 24 hours and provides great views of the ships and surrounding city.
I don’t think there’s a single right angle in the whole structure, I bet the carpenters involved have nightmares about the project.
The different levels of the building organically flow together by means of bifurcated folds in the floor which allow for barrier-free circulation without the need for stairs. This also provides certain continuity between the interior and exterior surfaces.
Natural grass compliments the grey of the beautiful Brazilian hardwood. It strangely reminded me of a Vietnamese restaurant I used to enjoy in Shenzhen!
The steel frame of the building allows for a massive column-less interior space.
There’s also a large outdoor event space which can be used as a stage, with the surrounding steps functioning as audience seats.
It was designed by the now defunct London-based Foreign Office Architects (FOA) and completed in 2002.