Marianna Filippou

MARSEILLE MUSIC AND CULTURAL CENTRE | Marseille, France | Unit 21 | 2016


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Marseille is characterised by its transiency and cultural diversity seen in its importing and exporting activities that take place in the coast and expand in the mainland. The concept behind the proposed scheme for Marseille has been developed through the experience of the city as a cultural landscape. Architecturally, the city might be thought as a dynamic roofscape consisting of small terracotta tiles, traditional to Marseille. Series of flat planes and sheared surfaces slot into each other, forming vast fluctuating planes exposed to all conditions.


The proposal for the city of Marseille is a cruise boat terminal in the form of a landscape.
The site is situated on the historic harbour’s edge between the city grid and Marseille’s new port, a district that is characterised as a cultural centre.
Direct routes lead to the city’s central railway station with connections to key surrounding buildings, tourist attractions and the airport. The public promenade extends around the entire edge of the site providing clear views of the city’s landmarks and the mediterranean sea.
The design of the new terminal is conceived in plan and is based on the circulation routes of cruise passengers and the vehicles entering and leaving the site. Its finishing layer is a field of raised terracotta tiles layering the glazed roof of the proposed structure in order to control direct sunlight entering the spaces below. The choice of this material directly refers to Marseille’s image as a tilled roofscape and responds to its specific climate.
The orientation of the proposal is following the cruise boat routes entering the harbour aiming to create a new facade for the historic city.




The essence of the proposal is an extension of the city where streets extend and become cuts through a proposed artificial landscape designed for the public. On the two sides of the landscape terminal buildings are erected from the ground connecting the fine line between the sea and the city. Cruise boats are docked in-between the park and the terminal where they can load and unload the passengers from the side and the back towards the terminal facilities. The buildings are rising from the mainland to the sea forming a new horizon as one enters the harbour while they are framing the urban background.
The design is focusing on the proposed roof structure sheltering the south and north terminals, appropriating it’s form and materiality according to previous case studies. The proposed materials for the roof are steel structural elements, concrete, glass and terracotta finishes. Part of the structure is accessible from ground level, rising up to a two storey building where the users can circulate and observe the city’s surrounding landmarks as well as the boats entering and leaving the harbour.


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