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  • Justin Cheng

Kai Tak Cruise Terminal

Structure: Kai Tak Cruise Terminal

Location: Kai Tak, Hong Kong

Architect: Foster + Partners

Main Contractor: Dragages Hong Kong Limited

Recognising that Ocean Terminal’s cruise terminal was insufficient to accommodate future demand, the Government - particularly the Secretary for Economic Development, Stephen Ip, announced that Hong Kong required additional berths to leverage ascendant growth in the region. Notably, Hong Kong’s geographical proximity to mainland China and powerhouses such as Japan, India and rising economies such as Vietnam and Indonesia means that Hong Kongers could reach 50% of the world’s population within a 5-hour flight, underpinning the large demand for tourism and transportation. As such, seeing that a large plot of mainly underutilized land previously occupied by the famous - or infamous - Kai Tak Airport remained available, construction began in the early 2010s and it now services hundreds of ships from tens of companies across the Asia-Pacific and beyond.

In late 2007, the HKSAR Government issued an open tender for construction and development of the structure, a process that lasted until September 2009 when core infrastructure work - such as a 1.8km two-lane road, drainage and sewerage work - was initiated. This helped spearhead the development of surrounding facilities such as the Kai Tak Park, which today, has been the site of several expos and even a carnival. Shortly after construction, the Mariner of the Seas, owned by venerable cruise line Royal Carribean Cruises, became the first cruise to dock at the terminal on 12/6/2013, a historic day for the development of the terminal.

Critically, the terminal has a linear and easy-to-navigate layout, arranged over three main levels. For instance, the baggage handling area and passenger arrival area are conveniently located on the ground level, allowing for easy access and transport

Furthermore, adorned on the top of the Terminal, the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal Park occupies a total area of 23,000 square meters, covering a fountain plaza, a central lawn and more. Its location on the tip of the former runway also allows visitors to take in a panoramic view of Hong Kong Island as well as some parts of the Kowloon Peninsula.

With its impressive architectural features and wide range of amenities, the Terminal has served a variety of cruises and a plethora of different people across the years, a true testament to Foster and Partners’ architectural expertise.



Photo Courtesy of Foster and Partners

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