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Cruise Terminal in Salerno, Italy, by Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid’s cruise terminal reframes the role of the pier as indeterminate terrain, mediating between land, sea and sky

Pleasure piers were originally mooring jetties for ships bringing trippers to seaside resorts, evolving into more complex organisms over time. The first building to be completed after her death in 2016, Zaha Hadid’s cruise terminal in Salerno reframes the role of pier as  indeterminate terrain, mediating between land, sea and sky. Its elongated, ship-like structure flows and warps along the waterfront, penetrated by a network of ramps and canted floor planes conveying passengers from dockside to liner.

Like all Hadid’s work, it is conspicuously an object-building, calculated to draw attention to itself and Salerno, with the aim of reviving the port’s fortunes. Yet wrapped in a rippling manta ray roof, the building makes perfect sense in the context, extemporising on existing dockside types and designed on the basis of people flowing through it, which gives it a curious dynamism. 

Zha salerno

Zha salerno

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All photographs by Hélène Binet

This case study is part of Typology: Pier. Read the full article here

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