Hans-Christoph Schultz

Hans-Christoph Schultz

Docking with Nature. RWTH Aachen (Germany)

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The thesis focuses on the Geirangerfjord, one of the main attractions the Norwegian coast and its impressive landscapes have to offer. During summer, the fjord is visited by up to 800,000 tourists, with most arriving as passengers on the numerous cruise ships that have Geiranger as their destination. Currently no adequate and sustainable docking opportunities exist.
To solve this problem, the proposal provides two different functions: It forms an unpretentious structure, which can either accommodate two large cruise ships or three smaller vessels, connecting the ships and passengers to the town and infrastructure.
Furthermore, it also adds a new identifcation point, attraction and multipurpose space to the town. Like a long drawn pier it extends out on the water, presenting itself as a distinct line in the landscape, hereby forming a stark contrast to the nature around but without disturbing the breathtaking vistas.
To meet the requirements of the cruise operations and to create unique spatial experiences the structure consists of a sequence of individual, triangular shaped wooden frames. Not only does the fjord, the sunlight sifting through the frames and the alternating views create a special atmosphere inside the structure, its specifc shape also prevents the ship bows from damaging the wooden elements. Their shape alternates rhythmically between a whole and a half cross-section along the structure, allowing the passengers to disembark where the half-frames are located. Due to resting on a substructure of reinforced concrete pillars, the structure is able to withstand the massive forces of the docked ships. Since a fixed roof would have disturbed the structure's simplicity and atmosphere, a retractable canvas, mounted between the frames, offers the weather protection.
All these aspects offer a sustainable solution to a problem the Geirangerfjord and an always growing number of picturesque destinations around the globe are facing.

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