Yokohama Ferry Terminal
by Mahoko Hoffman
Well timed with the opening of the World Cup soccer games in South Korea and Japan, the new Osanbashi International Passenger Terminal of Yokohama opened in June 2002. With its landscape-like curving roof, the building by the London firm of Foreign Office Architects (FOA) is intended as an extension of a nearby municipal park.
In 1994 the City of Yokohama held an international design competition and selected FOA, a partnership of Farshid Moussavi from Iran and Alejandro Zaera-Polo from Spain. Hired in the middle of Japan's economic slump, the young architects faced several difficulties and a near cancellation of the project.
A turning point came when the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) decided to hold the 2002 World Cup games in Japan and South Korea, with Yokohama to host the final game. This scattered any remaining doubts and boosted the ambitious project.
Yokohama is Japan's second largest city. It and neighboring Tokyo are home to a population of 33 million. In the 1980s Yokohama, which is traditionally a port town and entry gate for foreigners, began to transform as a harbor city. Dockyards and heavy industries moved out of the city center, and the waterfront to the north developed into a new business and entertainment district. >>>
The new Osanbashi International Passenger Terminal of Yokohama, Japan, designed by the London firm of Foreign Office Architects (FOA).
Photo: Mahoko Hoffman
The roof of the terminal building resembles at times a ship deck, at times a landscaped park.
Photo: Mahoko Hoffmann
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