Saturday in Marseille, France, pedestrians and city officials joined Foster + Partners to celebrate the completion of the Vieux Port Pavilion at the mouth of Marseille’s World Heritage-listed harbor. Minimal, yet effective, this “discreet” intervention provides a new sheltered events space on the eastern edge of the port. With six slender pillars supporting its razor-thin profile, the polished 46 by 22 meter stainless steel canopy amplifies and reflects the surrounding movement of the harbor, creating a spectacle that encourages pedestrians to linger.
More on Foster’s Vieux Port Pavilion after the break…
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 in an effort to establish 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, similar in color and durability as the original limestone cobbles. The simple, roughly textured materials secure accessibility for all, along with the elimination of curbs and level changes.
Spencer de Grey, Head of Design, Foster + Partners: “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 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 during this very important year for the city.”