Located in Penghu County, one of Taiwan’s outlying islands, the Magong Ferry Terminal (also known as the Penghu South Sea Transportation & Tourism Waiting Room) represents an important transportation hub for the region. Built in 2009, the terminal’s passenger traffic has increased steadily over the years, now welcoming hundreds of locals and visitors each day as they make their way to neighbouring cities of Qimei and Wangan.
With the influx of passengers, issues related to the terminal’s 14-year old infrastructure, which had never seen any major renovations, quickly became all the more apparent. From unclear signage systems, scattered ticket information and conflicting queues – it was high time for a redesign.
In collaboration with Taiwan’s Maritime Port Bureau (MOTC), WDO Member Taiwan Design Research Institute (TDRI) worked alongside three local design teams, UPGA WA-Archi., Bohan Design, and Benzhi Design Consultants, to transform the outdated terminal into a bright and responsive space that could meet the needs of its daily passengers.
Examining existing ticketing procedures, architecture, and overall onboard experience, the three design teams identified 11 areas for improvement. Moreover, through analysing user behaviours and combing through information of ship traffic, ticketing, and public announcements, the design teams proposed several key makeover plans. These plans, which were initiated in mid-2022, included updating ticketing services, enhancing electronic displays and bulletin boards to assemble posted information and implementing colour blocks on the floor to offer queuing citizens directions to the ticket booth and to minimise directional traffic.
For the exterior of the building, a minimal design approach was adopted. The old detention basin was removed to make way for a new recreational platform, and the colour tone of the facade was changed to white, making the building more enticing and the entrance brighter. For the interior waiting room, the original features of elevated ceilings and central axis were preserved, but the gloomy colour palette was also brightened.
Inspired by basalt, Penghu’s local material, the ticketing service counter was painted grey to ensure that it stands out in the white space. The height of the service buzzer was also increased, and Braille labels were added, with luggage locks now installed in the facility’s washrooms for passengers with large pieces of luggage.
One of the highlights of the space is the ocean waste seats, designed by Taiwanese brand NakNak’s. The seats are made from over 70,000 recycled PET bottles collected from Taiwan’s surrounding seas, which are mixed with materials like oyster shell powder and styrofoam. The resulting circular material, as well as the seats themselves, demonstrates that ocean sustainability remains a key concern in Taiwanese design.
As Taiwan continues to strive towards more sustainable marine policies, the redesign of the Magong ferry terminal has no doubt helped to usher in a new chapter of design-led functionality for the country’s marine transportation industry.
Looking ahead, as Taiwan continues to strive towards more sustainable marine policies, the redesign of the Magong ferry terminal has no doubt helped to usher in a new chapter of design-led functionality for the country’s marine transportation industry.