Niang'ou Boat Terminal
Tibet, P.R. China
Habitar Portugal 12-14
Year – 2007
Client – Tibet Tourism Holdings (Kevin Ouyang)
Direct consultation – Private client
Location – Linzhi, Tibet, P.R. China
GPS – 29°27’15.60”N 94°30’12.24”E
Site Area | Area – 15.000 sq.m
Budget – 7.500.000,00 €
Status - Built
Partners – Albuquerque Goinhas, Augusto Marcelino, Cristina de Mendonça, Luís Baptista, Nuno Griff, Pedro Patrício, Sofia Antunes
in Collaboration – Standardarchitecture | Zhang Ke, Hou Zhenghua, Zhang Hong
Landscape Architecture – Claudia Taborda
Photography – exterior: Chen Su | model: Mercês Tomaz Gomes (MTG)
In July 2007, EMBAIXADA was invited by the Chinese office Standardarchitecture and the Landscape Architect Cláudia Taborda, to take part in the Yalung Tzumbo River Canyon Development project. This was a major project that aimed to develop a touristic compound in Tibet, one that would run for several kilometres along the banks of the Yalung Tzumbo river. EMBAIXADA participated in the discussion of the master plan and took part in defining the global intervention strategy, thereafter assuming responsibility for the conception of two of the intervention points. The Niang’Ou wharf is one of these two sites.
The intervention point is located at the confluence of the Niang and Yalung Tzumbo rivers, a place of overwhelming natural beauty which had, until recently, remained intact.
The client’s request to modernise and expand the existing infrastructures would create a substantial increase in the existing buildings and the human footprint on the landscape. The briefing requested the creation of a new interface, rebuilding and duplicating the existing tourism wharf, to create a new maintenance wharf, and to construct two large restaurants, a shop, a cafeteria with an esplanade, administration office space, accommodation for both staff and visitor as well as parking for small tourist buses.
The proposal based itself on the idea that above everything else it would be mandatory to establish a contextual dialogue between the landscape and the scale of intervention. Only after this dialogue had occurred, would it be possible to articulate a process of implementing new uses. Therefore, all the space requirements were organised along a downhill promenade, using an increasingly complexity narrative, from the highest intervention level (3000m), the sightseeing platform, to the lowest level river mark (2971m).
In the end, thanks to a careful selection of traditional finishing touches, the perception of the scale of the intervention was reduced and the final result is that of a piece of “land art”.
The structure of continuous ramps and stairs at the very top of the structure organises the flow of the new space, giving it a hierarchical unity and defining the interspace relations. All the platforms and the inner areas are defined using this structural matrix. This way, each space finds its place in harmony with the landscape, balancing the relationship of the space with our human scale.