Zaha Hadid Architects' First Built Tower: CMA CGM Headquarters

Zaha Hadid Architects' First Built Tower: CMA CGM Headquarters

Zaha Hadid Architects’ first built tower, the CMA CGM Headquarters in Marseille, France, is most immediately notable for its vertical form.

As the stunning images from Hufton + Crow show, the tower’s disparate volumes (generated from gradual centripetal vectors) gently converge towards each other and then bend apart to create an elegant "metallic curving arc that slowly lifts and accelerates skywards into [...a] dramatic vertical geometry.”

Read More about CMA CGM Headquarters, after the break...

Zaha Hadid Architects' First Built Tower: CMA CGM Headquarters - More Images+ 14

According to Zaha Hadid Architects’ web site: “The curving profiles on the exterior facades work with the central core of the building, bringing a rigid frame and a sense of movement to this completely new typology of tower.”

© Hufton + Crow

However, although the tower’s vertical form may steal the spotlight, special attention was also placed upon the ground life of the tower. Situated on a busy site, surrounded by an elevated motorway viaduct and on top of a convergence of public transport facilities, the tower’s lower portion extends its horizontality in order to “relate to the extreme horizontal energy of pedestrian, automobile, tram and shipping movements at ground level.”

With its striking vertical presence 142.8 metres above the ground, the tower will clearly become an iconic landmark for the city of Marseille; however, the integrated design strategy of the CMA CGM Headquarters will also keep it in dialogue with the city:

© Hufton + Crow

“The unique design strategy of the new CMA CGM Headquarters divides the overall volume into smaller fragments and reassembles them in a way that maintains the integral uniformity of the tower but with design elements that optimise its relationship with the city of Marseille.”

Story via Zaha Hadid Architects

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Cite: Vanessa Quirk. "Zaha Hadid Architects' First Built Tower: CMA CGM Headquarters" 28 Mar 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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