After eight years in development, the Shanghai International Cruise Terminal will soon be completed. The architecture firm Sparch began work on the multi-use project (and opened its Shanghai office) in 2004, broke ground on the site in 2006, and will be fitting out its final buildings there in early 2012. In designing the project, the firm had to consider two nearby districts: the concession-era buildings of the Bund, and the recent skyscrapers of Pudong across the Huangpu River. Located at the third point in a prominent triangle, the cruise terminal presented a unique opportunity. “We wanted to make a gateway to the city,” says John Curran, co-founder of Sparch and head of its Shanghai office, “and it needed to have that iconic ‘wow’ factor to it.”
The firm started by designing a master plan that includes buildings with a total of 2.8 million square feet of space. Sparch is also responsible for detailed design of the east side of the site, which includes landscaping and buildings with 1.6 million square feet of above-ground space. New York architect Frank Repas designed an additional four buildings on the east site as well as the landscaping and passenger facilities on the west.