atelier jean nouvel‘s ‘la marseillaise’ marks the second stage of the housing and renovation project of quais d’arenc in marseille. located in the business center of the coastal mediterranean city, the office tower rises to 135 meters in height and serves as one of the key projects of the marseille-euroméditerranée program, the largest urban and economic development program currently under way in southern europe. visible from both the sea and from within the city, the tower is the latest architectural high point. the structure leaves a stamp on marseille’s 21st century architectural heritage and responds directly to the economic issues and ambitions of france’s second largest city.

jean nouvel marseillaise
image by michèle clavel

 

 

entitled ‘la marseillaise,’ the jean nouvel-designed tower honors the mediterranean city not only through its name, but through the colors of its facade. the gradation of 27 shades of blue, white and red evokes the colors typical of the region — the blue of the sky, the white of the calanques coastline and provençal landscape, and the red of the city’s rooftops.  the tower meets the highest current environmental standards with such elements as reusable and sustainable materials, an innovative system of air-conditioning, age-resistant paint, and improved acoustics thanks to absorbent spaces and energy recovery systems. the project was undertaken by artisan developer constructa, the first independent developer in france.

jean nouvel marseillaise
image by stéphane aboudaram | WE ARE CONTENT(S)

 

 

towers all over the world look too alike. they often appear interchangeable –- they could exist anywhere,’ explains jean nouvel. ‘too rarely do they describe their city. they are tall, but anonymous. my proposal is a tower that is singular. its ambition is to belong clearly to the dense mediterranean sea air. it displays its desire to play with the sun and draw shadows on the sky. lights and colors interfere, and while la marseillaise will truly be blue-white-red, it will replace france’s blue with sky blue, royal white with the impure white of the horizon or the occasional cloud, and blood red with the ocher and brick reds present in the surrounding roofs and walls.

jean nouvel marseillaise
image by stéphane aboudaram | WE ARE CONTENT(S)

jean nouvel marseillaise
image by michèle clavel

jean nouvel marseillaise
image by stéphane aboudaram | WE ARE CONTENT(S)

jean nouvel marseillaise
image by stéphane aboudaram | WE ARE CONTENT(S)

jean nouvel marseillaise
image by michèle clavel

jean nouvel marseillaise
image by michèle clavel

jean nouvel marseillaise
image by michèle clavel

jean nouvel marseillaise
image by michèle clavel

  • It is novel. I like the coloring – ’till maybe that ‘age resistant’ paint fades in that heavy Sun. It also looks as if the scaffolding contractor said; “I am not taking it down – until you pay me.” This place looks as if it might not age well.

    Jim

    JimCan says:
  • Légère, fraîche, magnifique !
    Merci à Jean Nouvel et Constructa!
    Un Marseillais

    Patrice Hardy says:

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