SEVILLE – The Port of Seville needed a new multi-purpose cruise ship terminal with a flexible character in order to accommodate the unpredictable number of passengers using it on a regular basis. The on-site construction needed to be extendable, moveable and had to be built in record time.
‘The port authority did not wait long before taking matters into their own hands and proposed the idea of using shipping containers’ say the designers from Arquitectos Hombre de Piedra.
Although this project seems to have raised many questions regarding temperature control and comfort of its interior spaces, the Seville-based architecture office hastens to say that this kind of challenge tends in fact to enrich their creative process.
This rational but elegant looking cruise ship terminal effectively combines shipping containers made of standard measurements into a much larger structure. This simplified design allows the architects to concentrate their efforts in naturally achieving an adequate internal temperature, considering on the one hand Seville’s singular climate and on the other, the thermal properties of steel. As steel containers conduct heat and have a tendency to rust in certain conditions, they must be employed cautiously if used for human occupancy. The architects’ intervention is in that case a success whether it is for its sustainability, low cost or durability.
The design from Arquitectos Hombre de Piedra and buró4 not only exemplifies a spatial-functional-constructive successful strategy but also constitutes a genuine success in terms of thermodynamic performances.
The air heated by the Mediterranean climate of Seville increases in volume and decreases in mass per volume. Due to buoyancy, the lower density elements float, therefore hot air rises up and is channeled towards the upper parts of the building. East-west oriented openings are provided to ensure a constant wind-induced ventilation so as to obtain optimal comfort.
Besides the impression of extreme simplicity and lightness highlighted by the white paint on the exterior of the building, the surfaces deliver high solar reflectance and its composition prevents overheating. Although the various strategies developed by the Spanish creative office have proven not to be sufficient enough in the event of extreme heat, the savings due to energy efficient design remain very encouraging.
Photos courtesy of Jesús Granada