in 2006, SANAA — the architecture studio led by kazuyo sejima and ryue nishizawa — completed a ferry terminal on the japanese island of naoshima. supported by thin columns, a large roof shelters a series of glazed pavilions that contain the terminal’s functional requirements. over a decade later, the duo have returned to the island to erect a contrasting cloud-like structure that serves as a waiting place, provides bicycle parking, and houses restrooms for passengers.

SANAA naoshima port terminal
the cloud-like structure serves as a waiting place for ferry passengers
image by ken lee

 

 

standing at a height of 8 meters (26 feet), SANAA’s pavilion comprises a seemingly random formation of semi-transparent spherical forms, which each measure 4 meters (13 feet) in diameter. made from a fiber-reinforced polymer (RFP), the cloud-like composition sits on top of a grid of wooden beams and columns. with a thickness of just 5 millimeters, the RFP canopy provides shelter while simultaneously allowing daylight to permeate its partially transparent skin.

SANAA naoshima port terminal
the pavilion provides bicycle parking and houses restrooms for passengers
image by ken lee

 

 

the structure intends to serve as a new landmark for the region, which is known for hosting a variety of art projects and installations. the distinctive design allows both visitors and locals to readily locate the island’s ferry port. earlier this year, SANAA revealed plans to expand the art gallery of new south wales in australia, while kazuyo sejima recently completed a new institution dedicated to the work of japanese artist katsushika hokusai.

SANAA naoshima port terminal
the cloud-like composition sits on top of a grid of wooden beams and columns
image by ken lee

SANAA naoshima port terminal
the RFP canopy allows daylight to permeate its partially transparent skin
image by ken lee

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