Ports are a place of connection to the world beyond. The design captures the essence of the site; its adjacency to the port terminal. The design for the terminal carries symbolism, it makes reference to travel, movement, and nautical imagery. It is powerful and memorable. The new mixed-use complex should complement such monumental and inspirational design. Therefore the four towers are combined into two monumental gestures that announce arrival to or departure from Xiamen.
There are two elements of architecture that define the notion of threshold; the door and the window. So the two office buildings are connected on top to create a monumental doorway, a gateway to and from Xiamen. Sliding under the new arch, the broad linear promenade links the city to the waterfront. Its two pillars are deconstructed into glass ‘curtains ‘ softly waving in the wind. The otherwise expected rigidity is redefined to respond to the waterfront setting. The inside faces undulate towards the sky, creating a sculptural moment as one crosses the underside space.
The hotel and apartments are also combined into a single expression. They contrast with the gateway in creating a window from the city to the harbor. It also creates a window from sea to land as the lush vegetation of the adjacent hill is dramatically framed. The faces of the ‘window ‘are also modified into nautical undulation. Its brise soleils are equally twisted to create an ocean like horizon of waves. The upper ‘lintel’ contains the hotel lobby and shared amenities of the two buildings. At the top there is a sky lit indoor pool. The base of the ‘window’ contains the meeting spaces, fitness and spa. There is a functional logic to the big idea. The void itself is a rain forest that extends the imagery and texture of the adjacent hills and brings it into the building.