MAD Architects has adopted a unique approach to transform the site of existing cargo terminal in China into a new ferry terminal. The firm gets inspiration from the existing gantry cranes on the site and decided to design a futuristic and alien-like complex raised above the ground.

The project has been named as Chongqing Cuntan International Cruise Centre and will be developed with the collaboration of China Academy of Building Research. It’ll be located on a site measuring 66,000 sq m next to the Yangtze River.

These gantry cranes became living alien creatures that gave a sense of surrealism,” said MAD Architects founder Ma Yansong. “The new scheme is therefore not only about reflecting the industrial colors of the past, but also about respecting this original surrealism. We have designed the elevated buildings as if they were a futuristic, free-walking city, seemingly arriving here from elsewhere, and perhaps traveling elsewhere once again someday.

“Chongqing has mountains and waters. However, the Yangtze River is more than just a natural landscape in Chongqing. Because of human activities such as shipping traffic and industrial transport, this mountain city is also full of energy and movement. We want to transform this energy in Chongqing from traces of industry into an energy that stimulates the imagination. People can feel the kinetic energy of the city here, but also imagine the public spaces of the future.”

There will be six interconnected buildings elevated to unspecified level above the ground measuring 430 m in length. It’ll host retail space restaurants and urban halls. There will be new hall and park on the ground level and a subterranean Cruise Center Hub connecting the park and elevated buildings.

The construction of the project is expected to start in November 2022 and will be completed by 2027.