Last week the Vieux Port pavilion designed by Foster + Partners for Marseille was unveiled to commemorate the city being the European Capital of Culture for 2013.
Located on the world heritage-listed port of Marseille, the structure consists of a beautifully simple yet highly scenographic mirrored canopy where the sky becomes one with the water reflections below. Foster + Partners collaborated with Michel Desvigne on the landscape design, to include a granite surface the same shade as the surrounding limestone, helping the structure blend with the rest of the harbor.
The 46 x 22 meter pavilion is made of stainless steel and perched on slender pillars, whose reflective surfaces entice visitors to join and interact with the space, while providing shelter from the intense sunlight. With aims to rejuvenate the port area and give the civic space back to pedestrians, the structure is also ideal for event hosting, markets, and special occasions, and has already become a very discreet yet highly identifiable landmark for the city. – Gemma Riberti
All images by Nigel Young