CAM 2_16-9

Palermo, Italy

Maritime Station

A versatile expansion of the cruise terminal


Client: AdSP Port Authority
Location: Palermo (IT)
Size: 2.300 sqm
Program: Transport
Status: In Design
Year: 2022
Project Team: Parallel Collective, GreenCure, PrP, Francesco Bartolomei, GaE Engineering


The Port of Palermo is undergoing a rapid transformation, evolving from an industrial hub to a vibrant tourist destination that seamlessly integrates itself with the city through a lively waterfront.

This transformation necessitates a versatile expansion of the cruise terminal, intended to handle the luggage lay down requirements during the morning, while also providing a new space for events and temporary exhibitions during the evening. A meticulous examination of the cruise schedule allowed this dual-purpose utilization to promote both economic and social sustainability.


Situated at the tip of Vittorio Veneto pier, the pavilion serves as the initial point of contact for incoming vessels and the first landmark encountered by those entering the city from the sea. Its architectural design draws inspiration from the dynamic forces of the ocean, the rhythmic patterns of the wind, and the intricate geometry of sails, masts, and cranes. This unique structure stands as a striking new landmark, overlooking the sea.

The building’s form consists of a transparent modular volume, surmounted by a gracefully arched roof. This roof is supported by an array of slender vertical columns, defining external pathways and creating a portico that acts as a buffer between the exterior and interior spaces. The roof extends the existing Stazione Marittima portico’s reference point, gracefully curving upwards towards the sea, providing an awe-inspiring panoramic view of the Palermo Gulf and transforming the structure into a contemporary lighthouse.


The roof’s geometry, the depth of its overhangs, and the placement of the vertical elements have been meticulously designed to shield the transparent facade, reducing incident radiation by an impressive 58%, especially during the hottest months of the year. Moreover, adhering to local regulations, the entire building, excluding its foundations, is dry-assembled in line with DfD (Design for Disassembly) principles. This approach allows for easy disassembly and reassembly, promoting sustainability. The modular construction and choice of materials, such as a steel structure, maximize the potential for component reuse and upcycling, optimizing the entire life cycle and significantly reducing carbon emissions, particularly during the demolition phase. The new extension of the maritime station goes beyond being a mere architectural marvel; it stands as a testament to integrated design, efficiency, and innovative construction techniques. It also serves as a pivotal urban landmark, symbolizing the ongoing transformation of the port into a thriving and dynamic part of the city.


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