Keelung Harbor Service Terminal and Building in Taiwan. Courtesy Neil M. Denari Architects.

Keelung Harbor Service Terminal and Building



Thornton Tomasetti performed structural engineering and façade design services for the Keelung Harbor Service Terminal and Building in Port of Keelung, Taiwan. The first phase of the project, awarded through an international design competition, included a three-level, 300-meter-long ferry terminal designed to accommodate the largest ships in Asia. Phase two involved a 53,000-square-meter administrative building connected to the terminal that will house the Harbor Authority and parking for 1000 vehicles.

The structures’ bold architectural design features large multistory cantilevers and bridges. The cantilevering and bracing was achieved using bracing located in the external faces of the structure. Long-span floors were designed to maximize usable space in the office structure. Given the complex form of the buildings, the structure was rationalized using optimization techniques and the modeling software Grasshopper to fit best within the form.

The exterior façade consists of painted aluminum cladding pierced by irregularly shaped, “slash-like” windows. ETFE skylights at the roof level allow natural light to illuminate the interior. The modeling software Grasshopper was utilized to help push the geometric complexity of the design.

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