Neil M Denari Architects Win Keelung Harbor Competition

Image courtesy of Neil M Denari ArchitectsArchitect reported earlier this week that LA-based Neil M Denari Architects won an international competition for the New Keelung Harbor Service Project. The announcement followed a two-phase competition, which saw NMDA win out over another striking design by Studio Asymptote. The competition website lists the project cost at $140 million, with a $12.5 million service fee. The project will begin construction in 2013.

NMDA called on the regional and local environment to inspire the massing, materials, and colors of its winning design. Or, as Architect poetically describes it: “Denari’s proposal would drink in the reality of Keelung.” The linear organization of the terminal includes a shopping mezzanine, boardwalk, and a cantilevered scenic restaurant at the north end of the project. An office building will house the harbor authority, a police station, a large post office transfer facilities, a weather station, and harbor support offices—all in a 53,000-square-meter, 70-meter-tall structure. NDMA describes the office component thusly: “Based on a courtyard type, the building is a distorted and punctured form whose specific cantilevers and surface orientations are based on prevailing views and breezes. Punched windows move across two floors and in various directions, two attributes that change the perception of the size of the building.”

Image courtesy of Neil M Denari Architects
For this who haven’t had the opportunity to embark on a cruise to Keelung, NMDA describes the port city of Keelung: “The Port of Keelung serves, at times, 10,000 cruise ship passengers a day, making it Taiwan’s largest port of entry into the country. Keelung lies on the Northern Coast of Taiwan, 23 kilometers Northeast of Taipei on the often cloud covered slopes of the Keelung Mountains. Known as the rainy port, Keelung with its wet climate, has a lush green collar surrounding its 350,000 inhabitants.” 

NMDA’s project team includes another local connection: Thornton Tomasetti of Los Angeles provided structural and façade help.

Image courtesy of Neil M Denari Architects

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