Stunning Vieux Port pavilion, Marseille, France
International architectural practice, Foster + Partners, have designed the Vieux Port pavillion project. Completed in 2013, the contemporary summer pavilion was opened by the President of Marseille Provence Métropole and Jean-Claude Gaudin, the Mayor of Marseille.
The new events pavilion is a simple, discreet canopy of highly reflective stainless steel, 46 by 22 metres in size, open on all sides and supported by slender pillars. Its polished, mirrored surface reflects the surrounding port and tapers towards the edges, minimising its profile and reducing the structure’s visual impact.
Reclaiming the quaysides as civic space and reconnecting the port with the city, the boat houses and technical installations that previously lined the quays have been moved to new platforms and clubhouses over the water. The pedestrian area around the harbour has been enlarged and traffic will be gradually reduced over the coming years to provide a safe, pedestrianised environment that extends to the water’s edge.
The landscape design, which was developed with Michel Desvigne, includes a new pale granite surface, in the same shade as the original limestone cobbles. The simple, hard-wearing, roughly textured materials are appropriate to the port setting, and to improve accessibility for all, kerbs and level changes have been eliminated.
Images courtesy of Nigel Young, Edmund Sumner and Foster + Partners
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