With a March 2002 deadline in anticipation of next year's World Cup, it's full steam ahead for Foreign Office Architects' £130m Yokohama International Port Terminal
Avant-garde London-based practice Foreign Office Architects is making rapid progress on the £130m Yokohama International Port Terminal on Tokyo Bay. The project is set for completion in March 2002, as part of the infrastructure that is being put in place in advance of next summer's football World Cup.

Even though it is the architect's first major project, it has almost singlehandedly steered the high-pressure scheme through major underwater civil engineering work and a construction programme involving three contractors.

Now the 430 × 70 m reclaimed site is rapidly evolving: prefabricated steel girders are brought in daily from factories in Korea and Japan and slotted together to form the steel ramps that sit on the pier's 400 50 m high piles.

The work has been segregated into three divisions, each one a joint venture with a different Japanese contractor. To help the contractors understand the building as a whole, each has also been given responsibility for a single aspect required throughout. One firm, for example, will be in charge of all the glazing.

The final effect will be, as Foreign Office Architects puts it, "lasagne-like", with the roof of the terminal forming a landscape of rolling steel. This will ripple away from the city as a new public space, while below, in the body of the building, passengers will move though circulation areas that rise and fall within the bends of the structural ramps.