All images © Helene Binet
After winning the competition back in 2000, Zaha Hadid Architects’ design for the new Salerno Maritime Terminal in Italy has recently been completed. Located on the public quay that extends into Salerno’s working harbor and marina, the new maritime terminal continues the city’s relationship with the sea and establishes new links that connect with its historic urban fabric and the nature surrounding.
The architecture of the building is described like an ‘oyster’ and its robust, asymmetric shell protecting the softer interiors within and sheltering passengers from the intense mediterranean sun during the summer months. Internally, the terminal is composed of three primary interlocking components: administration offices for national border controls and shipping lines; the terminal for international ferries and cruise ships from around the world; and the terminal for the local and regional ferries.
The terminal is the first completed project of Zaha Hadid since the news of her passing; Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi inaugurated the building, while paying tribute to architect: ‘this extraordinary work adds to everything Salerno is doing to transform itself and I think it is marvellous,’ Renzi continues ‘it is also a way of remembering the great architect that Zaha Hadid was.’
The quayside gently rises as passengers approach the terminal from the city, indicating the gradually sloping path of ramps within the building which raise passengers to the embarking level of large ships and ferries. The terminal’s interior arrangement orientates and leads passengers through a sequence of interior spaces that flow into each other and are organized around focal points such as the restaurant and the waiting lounge.
The new terminal operates – both functionally and visually – as a smooth transition between land and sea; a coastal land formation that mediates between solid and liquid. With its completion, the scheme will improve the accessibility and experience for visitors to the region’s renowned cultural attractions, coastline and countryside. Additionally, it will enable the port of Salerno to increase arrivals of ferry and cruise ships by 500,000 additional passengers each year, and create up to 2,000 new jobs in the city’s hospitality, services and retail sectors.