Architects Design Ferry Terminal That Resembles an Alien World

The design team was inspired by the orange gantry cranes at the freight terminal.
Loukia Papadopoulos

It's no surprise that we love architecture and engineering marvels. In the past, we have brought you lists of architectural marvels that seem to defy the laws of science and the most interesting engineering designs around the world.

Now, we are bringing you an incredible creation from MAD Architects, led by Ma Yansong, in collaboration with the China Academy of Building Research (CASR). Together these organizations have won an international competition for the design of the Cuntan International Cruise Centre in Chongqing, China and its execution is a sight to behold.

What is this marvel of architecture? It's a 66,000 216,535 square feet (square meter) cargo terminal located in Chongqing's Liangjiang New Area within the Cuntan Port area that allows access to the Yangtze River.

Source: MAD Architects

"Chongqing has mountains and waters,” said Yansong in a statement. “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."

Source: MAD Architects

MAD has ambitious plans to transform the site into a 213,254-square-feet (65,000-square-meter) international cruise terminal and city complex, that will host a 49212-square-feet (15,000-square-meter) cruise port and 164,041 square feet (50,000 square meters) of commercial space.

Source: MAD Architects

The MAD architects also revealed that they were inspired by the large orange gantry cranes at the freight terminal to create a design reminiscent of an alien world. Yansong said he wanted the architecture to reflect the industrial colors of the past and create a city that seemed to arrive from elsewhere and that could perhaps head somewhere else once again someday.

Construction is set to begin in November 2022.

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