«Create a team work with an artist, craftsmen, manufacturers and a construction firm. Accept and win the bureaucratic, technical and cultural challenges. Share a route achieved thanks to a continuous commitment of all the teams. Go out to give up the cynicism of the malls built in the early twenty years and seek to create a PLACE. Invent colours, matters, lights, animals, words staging. Talk and look for the poetry of a meeting between past and present, light’s sensuality that modifies the matter, the matter that becomes alive. Light and transparency, porosity and impact point, slow and rapid movement. Les Docks de Marseille. »
by Alfonso Femia
After two years of work lead by the architecture agency, 5+1AA Alfonso Femia Gianluca Peluffo, les Docks de Marseille have been publicly open on the 10th October 2015.
The historical building redeveloped will mainly welcome local shops that bring out the craft of Marseilles and its region.
5+1AA agency, who opened his office in France in 2007, won the competition for the redevelopment of the ground-floor spaces and the basements of Les Docks de Marseille in 2009. The surface to redevelop is about 21 000 sqm. The client is J.P. Morgan Asset Management who is the main owner of the site; the appointed contracting authority is Constructa Urban Systems.
Les Docks are historically located on the axis between the sea and the city; this strong and distinct cut of the territory lets the architects Alfonso Femia and Gianluca Peluffo transform this building into a place of dialog. Their concept is designed for the integration of the two city souls: the urban one and the maritime one. Les Docks become a permeable and porous place, they create a landscape between city and nature. This relationship is developed accross two North-South and East-West lines: North for the contemporary city, South for the historical city, East for the modern city and West for the recovered harbour.
Thus they recreate a place in continuity with the longitudinal axis across the buildings located at the end of the Docks that respectively give onto two squares: an historical one called Place de la Joliette and another on the point of emerging, Place de la Méditerranée. In this way, the project becomes a real space of exchanges and interactions between two parts of Marseilles.
The architects also reinterpret the organisation of the spaces that communicate together, with the city and the sea and create a new place of sociability strongly marked by the theme of the Mediterranean territory.
The proposal of 5+1AA agency includes an intervention on the Docks base in order to move from a closed system to an opened one, articulated with penetrations and transparencies and creates a place that continues to the sea.
The project redefines the four courtyards destined to be commercial, artistic and cultural that, from inside, extend towards the two exterior places and the two adjacent streets. They create four breaks inside a transverse route.
The Harbour, the Village and the Market are the three themes that ponctuate the new spaces of this symbolic building in Marseilles thanks to surprising materials, unexpected scenographies and adapted plants.
Since 5+1AA has been founded in 1995, they have been dealing with design in its different thematic and functional declinations (the city, the living, the work spaces, the spaces for culture and education) carrying out several projects in Italy and France.
The studio, that became 5+1AA agenzia di architettura in 2005, is based on a interdisciplinary relationship that develops itself between the studios of Genoa, Milan (2006) and Paris (2007), creating daily dialogue between cities, cultures and confrontation.
5+1AA, Alfonso Femia (President, CEO), Gianluca Peluffo (partner), Simonetta Cenci (partner), Nicola Spinetto (associate in Paris since 2009), 10 project directors and planning supervisors, 20 project managers, 10 collaborators, a team of 10 people responsible for management and communication.