Yokohama International Passenger Terminal
Osanbashi Pier
1-1-4 Kaigan-dori Naka-ku

Foreign Office Architects (Alejandro Zaera-Polo and Farshid Moussavi) 2002

The port of Yokohama is located on the northwestern edge of Tokyo Bay. Since the pier’s original construction in 1894, Oshanbashi Pier has contributed greatly to the development of Yokohama as Japan’s marine gateway to the world. Because of its increasing age, reconstruction of the pier’s foundation began in 1988.  In 1994 the City of Yokohama held an international design competition for the reconstruction of Osanbashi Pier won by the young London architectural firm of Foreign Office Architects.  Hired in the middle of Japan’s economic slump the architects faced many difficulties and near cancellation of the project. Fortunately, the football World Cup was to be held South Korea and Japan, with the final game to be held in Yokohama. This became motivation for the construction of the project. 

The new pier fits seamlessly with the new waterfront development that has transformed the area from dockyards and heavy industry to parks and an entertainment center.  The ‘artificial landscape’ is an orthogonal continuation of Yokohama’s waterfront and Yamashita Park.  The upper level hovers on the horizon with a continuous surface of grass and wooden walkways that ‘peel up’ for entry to the ferry terminal, shops, restaurants, conferences spaces, exhibition spaces and parking below.  A series of ramps and sloped floors create a continuous surface between levels that extends from exterior to interior and interior to exterior.

This fluid, uninterrupted, multidirectional space was conceived by the architects from a circulation diagram “that aspires to eliminate the linear structure characteristic of piers and the directionality of the circulation.”    The interior spaces are expansive and low, a continuation of the exterior topography that is emphasized through the continuity of materials and relation to the horizon.

Kari Silloway 2004


How to visit

From JR Tokyo station in Tokyo take JR Tokaido line to JR Yokohama station (25min).

From here change to JR Minato-mirai line to JR Nihon-odori station (6 min).

From exit no. 3 the Ferry Terminal is a 5 minute walk.

The park on the upper level is always open.  

For more information please visit or telephone +81 45-211-2304.

All links outside galinsky will open in a new window. Close it when you've finished, or use the Window menu on your browser, to return to galinsky.


   Welcome    |    About galinsky    |    Contact/contribute    |    Architects    |    Europe    |    North America    |    Travel packs

   copyright © galinsky 1998-2006. e-mail