The project restores and transforms the Old Port of Marseille's quays into an exceptional civic space. The presence of traffic is greatly reduced with a vast mineral space given over entirely to pedestrians. Two new types of architecture go along with the new space, without however obstructing the expanse of ground. The first is the structure providing shelter from the sun, which being large in scale can be used for the daily activities of the Old Port as well as for hosting all kinds of large-scale events. The second are the new nautical clubs built in wood, positioned directly next to the water.
The restoration of the Old Port of Marseille was awarded the European Prize for Urban Public Space in 2014. The European prize was awarded to the first stage in what is a vast urban development plan centering on the revitalization of the Old Port. The project aims to restore the entirety of public spaces in the city center. It foresees the extension of the promenade leading out from the quays into the creation of a “chain of parks”, which will have a similar surface area as that of the port, recomposing the greater Marseille landscape and its maritime facade.
Communauté urbaine Marseille Provence Métropole CUMPM
MDP Michel Desvigne Paysagiste (lead consultant)
Foster + Partners, Architeces
Tangram, Urban planners
Yann Kersalé, Public lighting
quayside : 8,81 ha (21,8 acres)
water spaces : 19,5 ha (47 acres)