Marseille 15th - Cité Saint-Louis
- department: Bouches-du-Rhône
- municipality: Marseille
- naming: Cité Saint-Louis
- authors : Eugène SENES, Bernard LARICHE, Louis POUTU, Joseph LAJARRIGE (architects)
- date: 1928-1931-1935
- protection: unprotected building
- label patrimoine XXe: Commission régionale du patrimoine et des sites (CRPS) du 15 March 2007
In 1919, Eugène Michelis, general secretary of the Office Public d'Habitations à Bon Marché (HBM) of the city of Marseille, launched the social housing construction program. According to him, indeed, "Finally, it is necessary because public security is imperative to evacuate the old buildings of the neighbourhood behind the Bourse, whose demolition began shortly before the war and whose current condition is such that two five-storey houses have recently collapsed ...".
The land of the future Cité Saint-Louis was bought from the city by the OPHBM in 1926, in order to relocate the inhabitants of the Bourse district. The work will take place in two first phases, in 1928 and 1931, under the direction of Eugène Sénès and Bernard Lariche. A final phase of work took place in 1935, in collaboration with Louis Poutu and Joseph Lajarrige.
The city has 218 dwellings, distributed in collective housing, in the centre and north of the parcel, or individual, in the east and south. The collectives open onto inner courtyards, and the houses sometimes have small gardens at the back. The city is crossed by winding avenues with the names of flowers.
The buildings all adopt a similar vocabulary: a light coating and wooden shutters on the façade, mechanical tile covers, and a small metal canopy above the front door. Most dwellings have only one level, only some collective dwellings have one floor, which is accessed by an outside staircase.
Old equipment has been reused, such as the washhouse, which has now become a collective extension space, or the dispensary, whose premises are occupied by an association. The spirit of community has been maintained, and collaboration and mutual aid seem to still exist in this garden city, the oldest in Marseille.
- Editor: Eve Roy, drac paca crmh, 2006
- Source: Amicale des locataires de la cité Saint-Louis, 2004