Grecian architecture firm AETER has created an innovative and environmentally sensitive vision of what a new passenger terminal building on the China-Hong Kong border could look like. "Eco-Land" was AETER's entry into the recently closed Design Ideas Competition for Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point Passenger Terminal Building. The design of Eco-Land incorporates many native plant species that have been displaced by human development in the highly industrialized Pearl River Delta region, which includes both Hong Kong and neighboring Shenzhen. Eco-Land's greenery-covered walls function as a sponge, absorbing pollutants from the air.
Spanning the Shenzhen River, the Eco-Land island terminal links economic powerhouse Shenzhen and its neighbors in the Guangdong province with the international finance and trade center of Hong Kong. The competition, co-sponsored by both Hong Kong and Shenzhen, seeks a “people-oriented” design that reflects the spirit of collaboration between the two populous and economically interlinked regions. With a population of over seven million, and mountainous surroundings dotted with nature preserves, Hong Kong is increasingly focused on green building and sustainable development in its remaining space.
With high volume vehicle traffic expected at the border crossing, Eco-Land includes a traffic portal where emissions will be removed via a series of high-tech solar powered turbines that empty into the Eco-Lab. The Eco-Lab comprises the outer portion of the terminal building, where plants and bacteria would function as “bio-filters”, breaking down and digesting vehicular emissions and other pollutants. AETER imagines that the Eco-Lab could provide an outdoor garden for nearby urban dwellers to enjoy, as well as a possible platform for scientific investigations. Eco-Land consists of five layers: a water and air base over the river, a circulation and natural cooling layer, the terminal structure, a pollution-absorbing natural sponge, and the Eco-Lab, where a natural landscape would dominate.