Reveal the beauty of a place so that it can be shared. The redevelopment of Marseilles docks will re-establish bonds between the site and city, users and local inhabitants. The architecture is a carefully targeted response to a very specific setting: the project weaves relations between the docks, city and seaside; the site of the old structure will become an open system extending to the sea through penetrations, transparencies and new relations; the arrangement of the internal courtyards is designed in relation to the various flows and their intensity with respect to the various locations. We have been particularly attentive to how things are perceived, visual apertures, pathways and other features: light to create original atmospheres, the sun and wind as architectural/energy devices.
«Create a team work with an artist, craftsmen, manufacturers and a construction firm. Accept and win the bureaucratic, technical and cultural challenges. Share a route achieved thanks to a continuous commitment of all the teams. Go out to give up the cynicism of the malls built in the early twenty years and seek to create a PLACE. Invent colours, matters, lights, animals, words staging. Talk and look for the poetry of a meeting between past and present, light’s sensuality that modifies the matter, the matter that becomes alive. Light and transparency, porosity and impact point, slow and rapid movement. Les Docks de Marseille. »
Les Docks are historically located on the axis between the sea and the city; this strong and distinct cut of the territory lets the architect Alfonso Femia transform this building into a place of dialog. The concept is designed for the integration of the two city souls: the urban one and the maritime one. Les Docks become a permeable and porous place, they create a landscape between city and nature. This relationship is developed accross two North-South and East-West lines: North for the contemporary city, South for the historical city, East for the modern city and West for the recovered harbour.
Thus he recreated a place in continuity with the longitudinal axis across the buildings located at the end of the Docks that respectivally give onto two squares: an historical one called Place de la Joliette and another on the point of emerging, Place de la Méditerranée. In this way, the project becomes a real space of exchanges and interactions between two parts of Marseilles.
The architect also reinterpreted the organization of the spaces that communicate together, with the city and the sea and have created a new place of sociability strongly marked by the theme of the Mediterranean territory.
The proposal of Atelier(s) Alfonso Femia includes an intervention on the Docks base in order to move from a closed system to an opened one, articulated with penetrations and transparencies and creates a place that continues to the sea.
The project redefines the four courtyards destined to be commercial, artistic and cultural that, from inside, extend towards the two exterior places and the two adjacent streets. It has been created four breaks inside a transverse route.
The Harbor, the Village and the Market are the three themes that punctuate the new spaces of this symbolic building in Marseilles thanks to surprising materials, unexpected scenographies and adapted plants.