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Jean Nouvel's La Marseillaise Completes in Marseilles

MARSEILLES, France's second city, has a new high-rise landmark. Its name, "La Marseillaise", is a reference to the French national anthem as well as the city in which its stands.

"La Marseillaise" is part of the "Euroméditerranée" - Southern Europe's largest redevelopment site that covers 480 hectares and includes a part of the city's waterfront.

The project has been ongoing since 1995 and will see a total investment of USD $8 billon, of which USD $5.7 billion will be invested by the private sector.

Above: A render showing Marseille's new waterfront district (image courtesy of Euroméditerranée).

Designed by Jean Nouvel, the 31-storey office tower is situated next to Zaha Hadid Architects' CMA CGM Headquarters which completed in 2010. More office towers are planned in the district in the future.

Above: The tower currently stands next to Zaha Hadid Architects' CMA CGM Headquarters, which completed in 2010 (image courtesy of Michèle Clave). 

In order to provide occupants with clear views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea, the building features a facade of clear glass made up of 3,850 fibre reinforced concrete shading elements.

Above: 3,850 coloured concrete elements protect the office workers from glare while offering crystal-clear view from the tower ( image courtesy of Michèle Clave).

These so-called "brise-soleil" have been painted in 30 different shades of red, blue and white in a reference to the city's traditional terracotta roofs, blue sky and white limestone sea inlets in the region - and not, Nouvel insists, a reference to the French flag.

Above: The colours of the facade have been chosen to reference the surrounding region (image courtesy of Stéphane Aboudaram).

In total, the building cost just shy of USD $230 million and took three and a half years to construct.


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