Port of Kinmen Botanical Bridge

CompanyLorcan O'herlihy Architects
Lead DesignerLorcan O'Herlihy, FAIA
Design TeamNick Hopson (PD), Jessica Colangelo (JC), Jonathan Gayomali, Charles Sharpless, Kate Chiu, Jennie Matusova, Leo Yu, Cameron Northrop, Samuel Kim
PrizeArchitectural Design / Transportation

LOHA’s prize-winning port for the island of Kinmen, Taiwan, draws upon its community’s rich history of cultural collaboration and natural connectivity, intertwining ferry passenger operations with a public park that serves as an iconic gateway and enduring infrastructure for island residents and visitors. Conceptualized as both a landscape and a building, the Port of Kinmen Botanical Bridge seeks to combine a waterfront park with a transport terminal. This creates a unique parkscape for users. To preserve Kinmen’s relationship to the sea, the port passenger terminal is lifted above the ground plane so that clear views extend through the building to the water. The project’s form is generated from a grid of folded triangular planes that weave the public park through and above its volume. The folding planes create ideal opportunities for natural daylighting, smooth circulation flows, and the integration of natural park space throughout the building. The building becomes a prominent beacon for inbound ferry passengers while its peaks and folds undulate with the island’s hilly terrain. Visitors are allowed views from the rooftop park and the glass promenade running along the north face of the building. Internally, passengers may take in sweeping vistas from waiting lounges, shopping, and restaurants. The administration tower, at a higher vantage point, looks back towards Kinmen Island’s lush landscape. From above, the roof plan looks like a woven tapestry of programmed textures. The lattice derives its color and patterning from the intricate vernacular detailing of existing island buildings. Inside, the green space will become a backdrop for passenger activities. The Port is both a gateway and a destination, melding performance with cultural heritage. Integrating the parkway into the form of the port terminal creates a unique typology uniquely suited to Kinmen’s future as a hub at the intersection of history, nature, and commerce.