New port pavilion for Marseille

The new events pavilion measures 46m by 22m. Photo: Nigel Young Foster and Partners The new events pavilion measures 46m by 22m. Photo: Nigel Young Foster and Partners

International architecture company, Foster and Partners, has completed the transformation project at the Marseille Vieux Port.

The renovation of Marseille’s World Heritage listed harbour was officially inaugurated last week by the president of Marseille, Eugène Caselli.

The event marked the completion of the new ‘club nautique’ pavilions and a new sheltered events space on the Quai de la Fraternité at the eastern edge of the port. The structures have been built to celebrate the city’s year as European Capital of Culture.

Spencer de Grey, head of design, Foster and Partners, said: “Our aim has been to make the Vieux Port accessible to all – the project is an invitation to the people of Marseille to enjoy and use this grand space for events, markets and celebrations once again.”

The new open stainless steel canopy pavilion, which measures 46m by 22m in size, features a polished, mirrored surface and tapers towards the edge, minimising its profile and reducing its visual impact.

Mr de Grey added: “The new pavilion is quite literally a reflection of its surroundings – its lightweight steel structure is a minimal intervention and appears as a simple silver line on the horizon, but it brings a new focus, provides basic shelter and creates a venue for performances.”

The boat houses and technical installation have also been moved to new platforms and clubhouses over the water and the pedestrian area around the harbour has been enlarged. Traffic will be gradually reduced over the coming years to provide a safe, pedestrianised environment.

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