MARSEILLE: METAPHYSICAL DATA SYSTEMS | Marseille, France | Unit 21 | 2016
Marseille has two ports located within close proximity of the city centre. The original Vieux Port is situated near the old town of Le Panier, but maritime traffic becomes too intense and the port was extended north of the city. Port Marseille Fos was built and it now serves as the main French trade seaport. This is newly built with a large amount of traffic arriving and departing on a daily basis, including tankers, cargo and passenger cruise ships. Using AIS Vessel Tracking I was able to map these boats which, along with the infrastructure and topography of the city, exposed the hidden and temporal lines of Marseille. This resulted in the documentation of a very local and unique series of contours and movements.
Although a lot of redevelopment has taken place, there is very little interaction between the waterfront and the city, with barriers obstructing the seafront along the port edge. Marseille is one of the most visited cities in France, although division between the cultures of the cruise passengers and the locals remains evident. Overlaid boat path routes were used to break down the existing landscape, resulting in a new Master Plan for Port Marseille Fos. The series of intersections create routes which are to be carved out of the landscape, allowing new waterfronts and pockets within the landscape to be created, inspired by the original boat path route shadows.
The fragmented landscape produced during the project is somewhere for cruise passengers and locals to enjoy together. The site is located near
Port de la Joliette, a middle point between the old and new port, which has been divided up into small interconnecting pieces of landscape; all interlinked with pathways and walkways creating a route and journey through the proposal. The new developed master plan is to include a cruise ship entranceway, urban beach, fish market, fishing pontoons, viewing tower and swimming pools. Through developing the programme around the original routes, a very organic structure was created for both the concrete landscape and throughout the building structure, exposing the previously hidden routes.
Water channels which once existed within the city have been re-introduced and the terracotta roof structure also reflects the heritage of the Mediterranean city. The artificial landscape provides views out to sea as well as over the city, with swimming pools, developed using contours, allowing for natural filtration. A series of programmatic spaces alongside these pools help to create a progressive journey across the length of the site, leading from one landscape to another.
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