The tower stands at the centre of the city’s ambitious regeneration project, Euroméditerranée, located 1km north of the historic centre, adjacent to the commercial port.
The site lies 100m back from the sea edge where the elevated motorway viaduct separates as it arrives into the north of the city. At ground level the site is dominated by the sweeping concrete viaducts overhead and the rhythmic colonnades of their supporting columns. It’s dense and noisy but a rich physical context. At high level, the context is the spectacular views over the bay of Marseille, the city and the docks.
Photography by Christian Richters
The building is in 2 parts: tower (56,600m2) and annex (36,600m2) and totals 93,200m2. The new building accommodates up to 2,700 employees, 700 cars and 200 motorcycles in a covered car park, an 800 seat company restaurant, Gym, auditorium and all the associated technical equipment areas.
The design strategy to deal with an awkward, elongated site was to breakdown the volume of the facade into vertical segments and differentiate them using light and dark glazing. These are then offset to one another with the clear glazing set forward as a separate skin which is articulated architecturally by incorporating the peripheral structural columns.
Photography by Hufton + Crow
Architecturally, the external skin has a dual purpose. Firstly it is to act as a solar screen enabling the use of light and non reﬂective glazing and secondly to free the façade from the constraints of a modular ofﬁce interior.
Movement and ﬂ uidity is introduced into the volumes and façades by generating vectors from the ground surface up which gradually and gently converge towards each other and then bend apart towards the top of the tower. The peripheral structural columns and the nomenclature of the external façade panels follow these vectors to create an elegant and coherent tower.
Photography by Iwan Baan
Design: Zaha Hadid Architects
Project Director: Jim Heverin
Project Architect: Stephane Vallotton
Project Team: Karim Muallem, Simone Contasta, Leonie Heinrich, Alvin Triestanto, Muriel Boselli, Eugene Leung, Bhushan Mantri, Jerome Michel, Nerea Feliz, Prashanth Sridharan, Birgit Eistert, Evelyn Gono, Marian Ripoll, Andres Flores, Pedja Pantovic
Local Architect: SRA (Paris) with RTA (Marseille)
Local Engineers: Coplan Provence (Nice)
Structural Engineer: Ove Arup & Partners (London)
Services: Ove Arup & Partners (London)
Façade Engineers: Ove Arup & Partners (London) and Robert-Jan Van Santen Associates (Lille)
Cost Consultant: R2M (Marseille)
Engineers: Arup (London)
Façade Consultant: Robert-Jan Van Santen (Lille)
Acoustician: Albarique Rouche
Structures: GTM Sud (Marseille) Façades Epitekh (Italy)
Lifts: Schindler (France)
Paint: SLVR (Marseille)
Floor ﬁnishes: Unimarbres (Boissysaint-leger) Mattout (Gemenos)
Waterprooﬁng: SMAC (Marseille)
Mechanical: G+S (France)
Electrical: Cegelec Sud-Est (Marseille) Santerne (Marseille)
Ironmongery: Chiri (Gemenos)
Wall ﬁnishes (glass): Menuiserie Lazer (Marseille)
Wall ﬁnishes (plaster): MBA/Staff Parisien (Paris)
Doors: Mayvaert/Portafeu (Belgium)
Project details and images provided by Zaha Hadid Architects