Vol 22 No 4 (02-2013)
The Cruise Terminal Building


Due to the favorable location and conditions of Hong Kong, including the well-developed infrastructure and the deep water of Victoria Harbor, the government had decided to develop the former Kai Tak International Airport as a mega cruise terminal since May 2010, which contains 2 berths, that can allow concurrent embarkation or disembarkation of 2 mega-size cruise vessels, plus also a cruise terminal building. Upon completion, Hong Kong as the leading regional cruise hub will be further consolidated and the building will become a new local landmark.

The main contractor of this HK$4.898 billion contract is Dragages Hong Kong Limited. The building and the first berth are expected to commence operation in mid-2013 while the second one is to be completed in 2014.

Cruise Terminal Building

The cruise terminal building is to be located at the southern tip of the former Kai Tak Airport Runway. Its north eastern side will be connected by the proposed Tourism Node site and the proposed Runway Park site; and its north-western side will be connected with a proposed
5 km waterfront promenade.

This 3-storey building consists of a concourse, passenger drop-off and baggage handling area on the ground floor and the first floor; check in and passenger waiting areas on the second floor; and a 23,000 m2 greening roof garden – Kai Tak Cruise Terminal Park for public leisure at the top.

With the aims of multifunction and sustainability, wide span structure has been adopted in the building so as to be easily converted to different layouts and purposes when needed. Also, sky light design is adopted to introduce natural day light and to minimize energy. The sky windows installed in all the passenger waiting halls and the immigration hall are also synced with the fire alarm and will open automatically when fire breaks out.

Kai Tak Cruise
Terminal Park

The Terminal Park with 16,700m2 greening area is comprised of 3 design elements – hill, city and water, and it blends well into the view with the adjacent waterfront promenade and Runway Park. Helical and crisscrossing pedestrian ways are adopted to divide the areas of the park effectively and provide areas for different activities. As for the hill, a park decorated with seasonal plants is constructed; in the center part of the Terminal Park, the “City” has various areas for activities such as Water Park and Children’s Greenland. The “water” stands for the spectacular waterfront view of the Victoria Harbor for sightseeing of tourists.


For the interior of the building, the beams are exposed according to the design. Four special kinds of beams have been prepared, including in-situ box main beams, precast teardrop shape secondary beams, box shape round bottom secondary beams for the 3rd floor and arch shape tertiary beams.

Box Main Beams

With about 40m length, 3.3m height and 17m width, the main beams are in box shapes and built in-situ. The interior of the main beams also provides 12m width and more than 2m height of space to accomodate the building services. Tendons have been installed during the construction of the main beams and the structure is stabilized by adopting post tension method after the completion of the main beams.

Teardrop Shape Secondary Beams

The precast teardrop shape secondary beams with about 30m length, 2.3m height and 108 tons weight are installed between the main beams. Its bottom is in teardrop shape and tendons are pre-installed in order to cope with the post tension method.

Box Shape Round Bottom Secondary Beams

As the beams on the third floor need to provide extra support to the greening roof, the box shape round bottom secondary beams are designed especially for the purpose and built in-situ while installed using post tension method.

Arch Shape Tertiary Beams

In order to match with the design of box shape round bottom secondary beams, precast arch shape tertiary beams are built to smoothen the lines of the ceiling.

Construction Sequence

Construction of the 3-storey building commences after foundation works are completed. Columns are built initially and then main beams for the 1st and 2nd floor are built in-situ. About 13 main beams are built on the 1st and 2nd floor respectively. Precast teardrop shape secondary beams are installed on the 1st and 2nd floor together and platform is constructed after establishing the main box beam on the 2nd floor.

Then 11 main beams are built on the 3rd floor while box shape round bottom secondary beams and arch shape tertiary beams are installed. The final sequence is to build aluminum cladding on the exterior of the 3rd floor and install facade after the roof platform is then built.

On-site Precast Yard

To easily transit the huge amount of 108 tons precast teardrop shape secondary beams in the site, an on-site precast yard is set up near the construction site for secondary beams production and storage. The site includes 5 moulds, a tower crane and a gantry crane to transit secondary beams to storage area. They are transited to the construction site by trucks after the structures attain the necessary hardness.


With an effort to achieve high sustainability, apart from the installation of skylight in the 4 main atria to save energy, various forms of energy efficient features, such as solar hot water system, rain water and conditioning condensate water recycling system, photovoltaic systems and demand control of air supply ventilation fans are adopted in the construction work. The building achieved HK BEAM Plus Provisional Platinum Rating in 2012 and was awarded Merit in Green Building Award 2012 by Hong Kong Green Building Council.

Progress and Conclusion

The construction of Kai Tak Cruise Terminal is in good progress and the building is nearly completed. Installation of facade, building services of engineering and construction of interior walls are in progress. Passenger boarding bridge of the first berth has been installed since late-September 2012 and concrete platform of the first berth will be completed in late-2012. The main building and the first berth are expected to open for traffic in mid-2013.

Kai Tak Cruise Terminal will not only provide world-classed service for tourists and prosper economy, but will also strengthen Hong Kong as leading cruise hub of Asia. The building is believed to be the future landmark in the territory and become a leisure hot spot for the citizens.

Courtesy acknowledgement:
Architectural Services Department
for providing the above information and photos