enia architectes - Cruise terminals in Le Havre, a complex yet fluid structure
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Cruise terminals in Le Havre, a complex yet fluid structure

enia architectes

Transport  /  Future
enia architectes

The design of these new terminals responds to many challenges that become the driving force behind the project. The main challenge was marking the entrance to the harbor on the seaside as well as connecting the city to the port. The second challenge was to create a project that not only responds to specific needs but also remains adaptable and transformable in the short and long term. These many challenges resulted in a complex yet fluid structure, adapted to today's capacities and scalable for future needs.

The main challenge was marking the entrance to the harbor on the seaside as well as connecting the city to the port. First of all, the terminals can be seen from far away while on the boat. They are the first buildings that can be seen offshore while arriving in Le Havre. At the same time, the terminals offer a unique viewpoint of the city thanks to a belvedere open to the public. This viewpoint is unique because it gives the tourists as well as the local population an outstanding sight of the major buildings of the city.

The terminals are modular buildings. They can be used for other functions than welcoming tourists. For example, they can be used as an auditorium or for exhibitions. They are perfectly insulated and aimed to respect the French RE2020 objectives. The terminals have been isolated on their external facade. No Air-conditioning system has been installed as the whole ventilation of the structures relies on the natural circulation of the air. In addition to that, photovoltaic panels have been installed on the roofs as well as low-carbon concrete for the main infrastructures. Biobased materials have been chosen. Last but not least, we worked with local companies as far as it was possible to work on this project.

One of the strengths of this project is how it blends with the existing environment. Being a first passage for travelers as well as a completely new part of the city of Le Havre, the Terminals bring a new dynamic to the entire region.

The architecture can be read according to multiple scales: distant, quay, and boat; however, the precise geometry and facade materiality seamlessly blend with its environment.

The two functional bases with their free and light emerging shapes form an origami-like figure placed on a new horizon.

We can also mention the reversibility or modularity of the infrastructure which is at the core of our approach. Given the constant changes in our time, it is important to be able to use the building for different purposes.

All in all, the building is a perfect example of integration in its social environment, of modern infrastructure because of the use of advanced technologies in order to monitor the building, and lastly, of a smart building as it respects the environment and use natural resources.

This project is an emblematic one for the city of Le Havre. It aims to create a shared space between tourists and locals as well as promote and develop the city by bringing new opportunities. The project takes into consideration security issues such as illegal immigration. To sum up, the Cruse Terminals of Le Havre combine openness and safeness solutions into a unique structure.


 Le Havre
 Groupement d'Intérêt Public Le Havre croisière
 Terminal for cruise
 35500 mq
 enia architectes
 Epaillard Machado


Founded in Paris in 2003, enia architectes is an architectural and design French firm. Our work spans a wide spectrum of building types and across all scales of operation which demonstrates our strong convictions: every building, whatever its purpose or size, contributes to the fabric of the city and necessitates an architecture that is sensitive to its user and its environment. In today’s carbon-conscious world, we believe that creating responsible architecture is foremost about fabricating conditions for harmonious cohabitation, a symbiosis between man and environment constructed from a reasoned economy of resources. At enia, confronting this diversity with an inquiring and creative spirit is what drives our reflection on each project - exploring places and cultures, embracing complexities, and challenging apparent contradictions - in order to uncover the right solution. Enia architectes has developed its activity with projects in India, China, Japan, Africa and Europe.


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