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The New Keelung Harbour Service Building is a multifunctional port facility located in the Port of Keelung, Taiwan. The coastal city of Keelung is situated 23km north-east of Taipei and its port serves as many as 10,000 cruise ship passengers a day, making it one of Taiwan’s busiest ports. Designed by Los Angeles-based Neil M Denari Architects, the iconic harbour service building will serve as a gateway to the city of Keelung.

The 120,000m² service complex will consist of a terminal building and a joint office building. It aims to increase the service capacity of the port and will process both cruise ship passengers and cargo. The building will include a public plaza and provide bus, taxi and private automobile access, as well as connect various pedestrian routes.

The project is being built at a cost of TWD5bn ($158m). Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2015 and is scheduled for completion in late 2017.

Design of the New Keelung Harbour Service Building

The New Keelung Harbour Service Building is situated on a triangular site between Zhongshan Road to the west and the Port of Keelung to the north and east. The contorted shape of the building is inspired by the surrounding Keelong Mountains and the wet climate of the region.

The structure will consist of a long terminal building, which is interconnected with a large courtyard office building.

The 30,000m² terminal building will include three levels and run parallel to the quay. It will feature ETFE skylights covering voids and lined with a stainless-steel mesh that will refract light into the terminal spaces.

The northern end of the building will turn vertically upwards and support a cantilevered restaurant at the highest level of the complex. The scenic restaurant will act as a bridge to connect with the office building to the west.

The 70m-tall office building will span an area of 53,000m² over 12 levels. It will house the Harbour Authority, a police station, a weather station, a large post office, transfer facilities and other harbour support offices. The contorted structure will be configured around a courtyard, allowing natural light and ventilation into the building.

A public plaza on the lower level will allow pedestrian circulation and connect to pathways that move in and around the complex, as well as the roundabout seaside boardwalk called ‘the Shoelace’. The circulation cores within the complex will be denoted by the use of chartreuse and seafoam green colours.

The two buildings will share a vehicular drop-off ramp that will bisect them at the second level of the complex.

Structural and facade details of the port complex

The 230m-long terminal building will be built of steel and reinforced concrete. The top two levels of the building, the vertical tower and the restaurant will be encapsulated by a sculptural roof and the exterior shell supported by a steel frame. The ground level will be a reinforced concrete structure that will house private and service-related functions of the building.

The steel structure of the office building will be connected to the restaurant at the top of the tower of the terminal building through a 30m-long bridge.

The terminal and office buildings will be covered by metal panel facade systems of varying dimension, shape, pattern and colour based on the corresponding spaces within the buildings.

A perforated metal mesh, punctuated with a series of openings to allow the entry of sunlight and natural ventilation, will wrap around the entire complex. The facade will consist of aluminium framing and a painted aluminium finish. All the surfaces in the complex will be either planar or conic.

Construction of the New Keelung Harbour Service Building

The New Keelung Harbor Service Building will be built in two phases. Phase I will include the terminal building construction.

The second phase will include the construction of the office building and public amenities such as retail, meeting spaces and a public plaza.

Contractors involved with the project

Taipei-based Fei and Cheng Associates collaborated with Neil M Denari Architects as the executive architect for the project.

Far Eastern General Contractor is the general contractor responsible for the construction of the complex.

Thornton Tomasetti is serving as the structural and facade engineer while Arup provided traffic, logistics, environmental and building engineering services during the planning and basic design stage.

Heng Kai was selected as the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) engineer while Izumi Okayasu Lighting Design is the lighting designer for the project.