If the investigations on architecture of the second twentieth century are now about ten years old, this heritage remains largely less recognized by the edility and the public, hence the interest of the censuses and monographs proposed here. Logically, after the census phase, which delimited the corpus of ensembles and residencies in Marseilles in its extension, the aim was to reduce their contours in order to develop a greater understanding, formalized by the monograph sheets. By definition, they reflect only one object of the corpus, but all the monographs thus constitute a collection covering a series of similar objects allowing the construction of typologies, classifications and comparisons.
4.0603 - The Mediterranean
district of Lodi, 6th district center of the city
Literature references: 20th century heritage, domestic architecture
n° répertoire édition X : 0603, p 9. 2005
Heritage label of the 20th century, 2006.
Conception & writing T. Durousseau arch. 2007
designation: Résidence Le Méditerranée
60-102 avenue de Toulon, Lodi district 13006
Lambert 3: latitude 3.05245; longitude 43.2842
Access: metro no. 2 Saint-Charles - Castellane
On foot by Cantini Avenue
Owner: Syndicate of co-owners of the Mediterranean
Syndic Uffi Urbania, 9 rue Sainte-Victoire, 13006 Marseille, 04 91 13 36 00
program: Complex mixed offices, shops, housing.
Contracting authority: Société d'Études et de Gestion Immobilière.
Program of 547 housing units. Set of 7 buildings (A to G).
Commercial premises: 24 including a gas station.
Parking: 1182 places originally built. Equipment: private nursery.
dates, authors: Preliminary draft: 1962. PC: 1964, 66, 69, 70.
The tower was delivered in 1973.
Author: Atelier 9; J. Agopian, P. Croux, G. Daher, F. Guy, R. Inglésakis, G. Lefèvre, G. Magnani, E. Sarxian, architects DPLG,
General Enterprise: Société Auxiliary d'Entreprise.
site: Close to Castellane; bordering the avenues of Toulon and Cantini, access to the east motorway. Former land of the Forges and yards of the Mediterranean, moved to Le Canet. Plot 4.7ha originally. Altitude: 21.20 to 32.83 m. Residential area B of the Master Urban Planning Plan of 1949.
mass plane: Creation of an urban island, opening up, at the origin of the project, to the south on the tower. Crossing of a public space, the Cantini square. The heart of the island is divided into various spaces treated in planted slab, terrace or arcades.
frame: Residential building in strip, with apartments through. Height of R+4 and R+7 for the second row buildings, R+12 for the perimeter. Good general condition.
sources: AD: 2071 W 26 (72.724), 165 W 641, 113 J 46, 102, 122
Architecture Guide, Marseille, 1945-1993 : M. H. Biget, J. Sbriglio, Parentheses, 1993
Prado Magazine #9
Journal Technique & Architecture n° 6, 1968
The pre-war urban planning projects and the 1949 Master Urban Plan envisaged the eastern exit of Marseille as an essential element of urban development. The Greber plan provided for a parkway route over the valley of L'Huveaune.
This shows the strategic importance of the site, near the Gare de l'Est between the Rouet and Menpenti, occupied until the middle of the sixties by a varied industrial fabric: oil mills, breweries, metallurgy.
The very name of the operation comes from the presence on this site of the Forges and Shipyards of the Mediterranean which were transferred to the industrial zones of the Canet. This movement continues today with the Rouet district: the transformation of the Gare de l'Est into a public garden and the Panofrance subdivision.
The project was initiated in 1962 by prior authorization, and revolves around the idea of a "highest signal tower in Europe" which was to surpass the 33-storey Pirelli tower of Gio Ponti in Milan.
Despite notable changes (programs, project owners), the principle of mixed habitats, offices, shops is preserved. In fact, from 1966, the houses were the first built (in several blocks) and then followed by the tower completed in 1972.
The permanence of the architects is at the origin of the group Atelier 9, gathered around the personality of Georges Lefèvre. After 1963, French architects came out of pure liberalism and joined forces with each other and other professions. These associations make Atelier 9 an active place of renovation of the profession of architect.
With the creation of the new route, Corinth Avenue, the project cut a complete island. The plan of the islet is open to the south where the tower is placed. The slope of the land between avenue de Toulon and avenue Cantini, of the order of 12.00m, allows to recreate an amphitheatre staging around the urban signal.
Further down, a forecourt is as if dug in the islet and extends the shops of building foot. A suite of intermediate terraces lined with small activities allows to cross the heart of this island with a rather residential character. On Avenue de Toulon, lined with shops, a gas station has set up on a break in the continuity of the buildings in alignment.
The building distributes three interior spaces in the north-south slope: large garden slab, terraces with planters, forecourt on Cantini Avenue. Under the terraces, several levels of parking space total more than 1000 spaces, which is considerable for the period.
The first row buildings form the outline of the block, and reign at R+12 on the edge of the urban lanes. Two R+4 to R+7 buildings subdivide the interior spaces. Their connection with the perimeter frame is made by special joints, in L or T, of angular circulation cages.
The houses are built on a structure of concrete load-bearing refends of 2.85m and 4.10m of reach which allows the organization of apartments for the most part through.
Among the facilities, there is a daycare on the garden slab, offices in the heart of islets, and shops on the outside of buildings.
The contrast between the exterior and interior of the islet is emphasized by the walls on streets. These, which are not very open, play with the beige sandstone covering in small tiles of exploded finish and with continuous horizontal bays, wooden joineries and yellow ochre shutters.
The interior, on the other hand, offers a feeling of openness thanks to the lightnings of transparent balconies decorated with vertical posts.
The very bright colouring (orange, yellow, green and blue) is obtained by a fine distribution of shades according to the level or exposure. Finally, it should be noted that the whole has not been the subject of any residence; the principle of the open island is still active in the form of the Cantini square.
In addition, this 547 housing project marks a stage in the access of the middle classes in Marseille to the large urban complex: far from the residences in large properties in the south of the city, it marks the evolution towards a modern lifestyle.
Founded in 1965 around Georges Lefèvre, l'Atelier Neuf was one of the first multidisciplinary groups formed in Marseille at that time.
The first partners G. Daher (Prix de Rome), A. Guien and R. Inglésakis, P. Croux and G. Magnani were joined by J. Agopian, E. Sarxian and G. Géri. In 1969, F. Guy replaced G. Lefèvre, who turned to landscape activities.
The first team is based around the Mediterranean housing operation, of which R. Inglésakis seems to have been the driving force.
We find Workshop 9 for projects:
The Cigalons, 1963,
La Bastide and Les Petites Magalones, 1967,
The Fleet Residence, 1972.
L'Atelier remained active in the post-1975 period with the URBAME group, created by G. Daher, in the field of urban planning and the first rehabilitation of social housing in particular.
Today, Workshop 9 is composed of G. Daher, F. Guy and F. Betoulaud.
© Thierry Durousseau, 2004-2005