The Joint Venture of KMD Architects-Pfau Long Architecture, with maritime facilities consultant Bermello & Ajamil of Miami, Florida, designed a state-of-the-art cruise terminal which served as the headquarters and epicenter for the America's Cup Races on San Francisco Bay in 2013.
Sheathed in corrugated aluminum, the elegance of the design can be found in the details. Signaling a new generation of waterfront development for the City, the monochromatic LEED-certified building features a minimalistic glass and metal facade, with an airy interior and stunning views of the Bay and San Francisco. Equipped to manage security protocols similar to an airport, the ultimate function of the building is to welcome and service huge, three-thousand-plus passenger cruise ships.
After disembarking the ship, travelers enter a spacious waiting room on the second floor from a one-of-a-kind, fully-accessible gangway designed in Sweden that can rise or fall 10 feet depending on tides.
Once down the elevators, they are greeted by an open expanse of the terminal's front entry, marked with an art installation commemorating James R. Herman's legacy as former president of the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union. The main waiting and customs areas are void of fixed furniture, so that the terminal can also serve as a special event facility on non-cruise days.
The terminal is a hub of cruise activity, with a two-acre landscaped plaza for the public to enjoy providing pedestrian access to the water's edge as required by the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission's Special Area Plan for the San Francisco Waterfront. With multiple stakeholders, overlapping jurisdictional bodies, and active community groups, the project required a sophisticated approach to include many viewpoints to deliver a successful project.