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.
1.1318 - Frais Vallon
La Rose, south of the 13th arrondissement
Literature references: 20th century heritage, domestic architecture
X Edition directory number: 1318, p 33. 2005
Conception & writing T. Durousseau arch. 2007
designation: Frais Vallon
Durbecs crossing, La Rose district 13013
Lambert 3: latitude 3.0975; longitude 43.3239
Access: metro 1: La Timone - La Rose
Owner: Habitat Marseille Provence, 325 avenue de Frais Vallon 13388 Marseille Cedex
program: 1,463 low-income housing units - Habitations à Loyer Moderate.
Contracting Authority: Office Public d'Habitations à Loyer Modéré de la Ville de Marseille.
Set of 15 buildings, schools, shops, social facilities, swimming pool, HMP lodge.
dates, authors: Project of 1,001 housing units, industrial sector, 1961.
Prior agreement: 1963, 2nd tranche 462 housing units. Program for returnees.
Architects: A. Devin, group head coordinator, E. Gautier, group head, E. Castel and J.M. Sourdeau, operation architects.
SMET design office.
Company, Auxiliary Company.
Rehabilitation from 1977, Habitat Vie Sociale dossier.
site: Between the foothills of the Jarret valley, under the Montolivet plateau. Altitude between 100.00 and 85.00 m. Residential area discontinued E on the Master Town Planning Plan of 1949.
mass plane: Centered on the route of the S 08 - not realized. Plan in 2 phases: bars and turns, then broken sticks. Spreading: R+4, R+9, R+12 and R+22.
frame: Concrete constructions, Blow Knox formwork process. Fairly good general condition. Important architectural transformations.
cf. records: 1425 - The Blue Navy - 1509 - Lévêque campaign
sources: AD: 2071 W 17 (49.631), 165 W 550, 12 O 2219, 86 J
The law of 24 May 1951 opens the technical policies of the Ministry of Reconstruction and Urban Planning under the impulse of E. Claudius-Petit, by the creation of a ten-year plan of the Industrial Sector. The Strasbourg competition, for which E. Beaudouin will be the winner, illustrates the new housing policy: economy of scale with groups of 800 housing units, 18-month turnaround times, groupings of teams (architects, technical design office, companies), and finally technical processes controlled by the CSTB - Centre scientifique et technique du bâtiment. A very specific benefit program is offered to the 25 accredited teams.
Among the winners of the 1951 competition, P. Vago’s team with A. Dunoyer de Segonzac will be ranked fifth.
A. Dunoyer, commissioned by Meyer Heine to compose the plan of Saint-Gabriel for 800 dwellings, will not complete his project.
In Marseille, only the second tranche of the Industrial Sector was introduced in 1952. It will include the hierarchical organization of the reconstruction: chief architect, group leader and operation architect. Frais Vallon is first the renewal of the Blue Navy program, with again A. Devin as coordinator, E. Gauthier as group leader and E. Castel and J.M. Sourdeau as operation architects. As for the process, it is a Blow Knox formwork system implemented by the Auxiliary Company.
To this thousand units will be added in 1962, an extension under the special programs of 35,000 units for returnees decided by G. Pompidou. Half a dozen Marseilles sites will be selected to densify or renew operations whose studies are then immediately reusable. This second tranche of 498 units will therefore be built on contiguous land declared to be of public utility.
These successive parts, defined "in the name of urgency"will mark the physiognomy of Frais Vallon. The first slice is still related to the Blue Navy or to Campaign Lévêque by the presence of very long bars, it differs by the presence of three towers that punctuate a mass plan in extension. The forecast of a fast lane - the S 08 - will induce the composition in two parts, north and south, distinct but balanced and also equipped. The second slice, although reduced by half, occupies a fairly large space and has no turns. It is mainly buildings with relatively dense passageways that dominate, organized in the pattern of broken sticks. The arrangement of the buildings is less hierarchical and seems to have abandoned the principle of composition and clarity of outlines.
The types of buildings are very different: bars, towers and thick buildings with central passageway. The bars made up of apartments are very thin. Designed as their models on a 5.30 m tread of sails, they continue the grouping of maids - kitchen, bathroom and toilet, around a small loggia forming a dryer. The rear facades (north) are made of concrete while the south elevations have a thin thickness (0.12 m) made of terracotta panels. The longest bars mark difficulties of implantation in the slopes of the site, forming powerful stalled bars which accentuate their monumental dimension. The façades of these large bars play on the rhythms of drilling that develop on three floors, reinforcing the colossal scale register in which the buildings themselves are inscribed.
Conversely, the towers of some twenty floors seem quite slender, on a base reduced in size wasp thanks to a beam of posts on two floors. The facades are finely woven and marked by large solid; the gables are refined by a deep withdrawal. The whole is crowned with a band of attic. One can safely attribute the drawing to A. Devin, author of some beautiful towers of Marseilles.
The last type of building that will make up the bulk of the second section is relatively thick, consisting of a central passageway that distributes duplex dwellings of three and five rooms. This arrangement on three levels is reminiscent of the Radiant City of Le Corbusier: it includes a large number of dwellings, which forms a density that causes maintenance problems.
Frais Vallon will be one of the national star cities to which we will apply all urban and social rehabilitation procedures (starting with Habitat and Social Life in 1977) that will make it one of the best served cities (metro), the best equipped of the city (social center, neighborhood house, Léo Lagrange center, three nursery schools, two primary and two middle schools and a swimming pool). Fifteen architects will work on the successive rehabilitation and despite the involvement of the lodger, the image of the city, victim above all of discrimination, will not be changed. With Frais Vallon it’s the impossible urban dimension that seems to be at the heart of the question: 1,463 units at the same address, and only one landlord!
André Devin (1905-1983),
graduated in 1928, in the Bigot workshop. After the war, he took part in the reconstruction of the Old Port, which later built residential buildings and large hospitals in Marseille. He trained several generations of architects in his agency. He left Marseille and housing a work of prime importance.
Son of Gaston Castel, works with his father’s agency.
son of Jean-Louis Sourdeau, author of the church of Saint-Louis in Marseille, was born in 1922, graduated in 1953 and works with his father in Aubagne, La Ciotat, in Marseille for Campagne Lagarde in 1966, he disappeared relatively young.
© Thierry Durousseau, 2004-2005