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'Cloud' Terminal Dots Japanese Island

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

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The passenger ship terminal for one Japanese island looks as if it’s about to float away, but beneath the cloudlink exterior, the newly opened building is grounded in reality, with a wooden support system and fiber-reinforced exterior.

Naoshima Port, located on the Japanese island of the same name, was designed by duo Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, along with their firm SANAA. For the project, they created the cloud-like terminal to act as an immediate focal point for visitors. The structure also serves as housing for bicycles or motorbikes, has a restroom facility.

Naoshima Port

Sitting at just over 26 feet tall, the installation is modelled on a cumulonimbus cloud, noted Dezeen. What gives it this appearance is the intersection of fiber-reinforced plastic spheres, which is supported by a wooden grid underneath. Each sphere is 13 feet in diameter, and the plastic coating is 5 millimeters thick.

At night, when lights are lit from inside, the sphere glows like a beacon, given the exterior is semi-transparent.

The Island Cloud

Reflective of the island’s burgeoning art scene, the terminal also serves as an update on what had previously been in place. The terminal is part of one of two key ports that serves the island, being closest to art museums such as Tadao Ando's Chichu Art Museum, noted Dezeen.

"We wanted to create something like a landmark for islanders as well as for visitors who visit the island for the first time, so they can easily find the boarding point for the ship," the studio told Dezeen.

"With this unique shape, people who are heading to the terminal or people approaching the terminal by ship can easily find the port, even from a distance," the studio also noted.

SANAA stated that it hoped the near-surreal structure would become a new symbol for the village, bringing islanders and visitors together.


Tagged categories: Architects; Color + Design; Design build; Terminals

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