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Marseille - Housing - Urban Planning - IBA

Arenc port-area, Marseille, France

feasibility study
The area under study, is a rough shipping-warehouse area in Marseille Arenc. Close to transport-interchange points and the centre of the city, it is an ideal location for a new modern living / working environment to develop, with a full urban mix of facilities and program.

location

The Arenc area could be typified as a stretched peninsula; an island of regularity surrounded by a sea of chaotically directed dilapidated buildings.
Main qualities are its accessibility, by public transport and car; the adjacency to Central Marseille; and the clear fine scale of the grid, a fortunate residual of the area's function as a shipping- and warehouse site. On the downside, the same train- and road-systems form a wide barrier which prevents the area to make direct contact with the docks and the Mediterranean Sea.

image

Through history, the docks and surrounding area are a vital element of Marseille's identity, characterised by the scale of warehouses, the size of the grid, and the presence of road and train-systems. It is important that scale and roughness are preserved, but where currently the area is dominated by the infrastructure, it should physically be replicated by elements of an equal scale.