Design approved for Riga's new passenger terminal (cruise and ferry)

   May 21, 2024 ,   Cruise Industry

Zaha Hadid Architects has unveiled their winning design for the Ropax Ferry Terminal in Riga Latvia.

The competition aimed to create a new passenger and cargo terminal, with ZHA’s proposal transforming the existing 1960s shipping warehouse into a 20,000-square-meter ferry and cruise ship terminal. The design includes public terraces offering panoramic views of the Daugava River.

Located in the southern part of Exportosta, the new terminal will be one of Riga’s three main transport hubs, providing high-quality civic, leisure, and commercial facilities. A primary objective is to establish the terminal as a homeport for cruise ships, with additional infrastructure for servicing. The facility will also have restaurants and cafes, aiming to reduce sound and air pollution in the city center and ensure safe movement for locals.

ZHA collaborated with Latvian firms Sarma Norde Architects, Alps Landscape Architects, and Sweco Finland. The design retains the orthogonal geometries of the existing reinforced concrete structure, wrapping it in vertical external fins made from recycled bricks and sustainable timber to enhance solar shading. The terminal’s roof, inspired by Latvian pottery, will feature locally made ceramic tiles and photovoltaic panels, reflecting the fluidity of the nearby Daugava River.

The passenger terminal is designed to double the Port's current capacity and operational efficiency by optimizing passenger flow with separate arrival and departure routes. The triple-height grand hall will feature expansive glazing, offering natural light and river views.

The new terminal is expected to handle up to 150 cruise ships, with 540 cruise ship visits per year in the passenger and cargo segments, as well as 360 ferries and 180 ro-ro ships (vehicle carriers). It is anticipated to accommodate ~800,000 passengers in its first year of operation, planned for 2028.