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“8ème Art” Residential and Office Complex

Designing Quality Urban Living

Atelier(s) Alfonso Femia | Carta Associés

“8ème Art” Residential and Office Complex
By Caterina Testa -

Vibrant and intense, Marseille is a profoundly Mediterranean city like all the great ports that share the same sea. The blue summer skies and sea contrast with the cold winter mistral winds while the famous white Calanques bear witness to a stratified history of different cultures dating back to 600 BC.

Atelier(s) Alfonso Femia and Carta Associés’ design for the 8ème Art redevelopment project matches the pace and sequenced density of the city and the balance of work and social activities in Marseille’s compact central milieu. Connecting the north of the city with the historic center to the south, Boulevard Michelet passes through the many different districts, from the urban villas on the outskirts to the grand ensembles, the large housing estates, and then to the compact blocks of the old center. The thoroughfare invites visitors to branch off into the many side streets and explore the city’s densely layered urban fabric. It was along Boulevard Michelet that the two architecture practices were commissioned to envision the adaptive reuse of the Renault Michelet buildings, creating of 676 apartments, 151 of which social housing, a 90-unit residence for the elderly, and a Renault dealership with garage and offices.

Located on the southeast of the Boulevard between Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation and the Vélodrome Stadium, the development also had to relate to sections of the city that although very close to each other, are worlds apart. To the west the plot looks out onto the Boulevard, taking in the variegated urban character of the place. To the south is a loose medley of parking lots, warehouses and urban villas from which, however, emerge the two iconic volumes of the Unité and Le Brasilia. To the north lies the Huveaune river offering the site a more natural outlook that continues to the east and, not too far away, Parc Borély and beyond that, the sea and...

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