A water square between the Mediterranean and Europe, a home for art and politics, a meeting place for different cultures.
preliminary design competition, preliminary, final, executive design and construction supervision - 2004/2013 - completed
The sea is the true unifying element for the Mediterranean world. Crossed by the routes of travel, migration and trade, it allows the communities that live along the coast to meet and exchange. The idea that governs the project is to let the sea enter the building.
A central element of the designed space, the dock does not have the simple role of ornamental basin, but is designed as a place for orientation, animation and organization of the whole of the new Center Régional de Méditerranée: it is designed as a true public space, from the multiple and free uses, where all the activities are conceivable: floating pedestrian platforms, temporary sets, empirical displays. Among the parts of the building, the sea is the reference space, visible and close both outside and inside the building. The space of the port, within which the new building is located, has always been a mutable and hybrid place, open and tolerant to possible uses. The building is thought to be a place that maintains relationships with the different landscapes that surround it (land, city, sea) revealing the values of the site where it is inserted and participating in the opening of the region towards the whole Mediterranean. The new construction combines an apparent simplicity of reading with a real wealth of spaces, routes and functions. The patio, a fundamental element of Mediterranean architecture, was chosen as the central reference point for the construction of the design process. Its ability to produce an interior, and at the same time to act as a filter towards the outside, has been interpreted in the generation of an open space able to dialogue with the Esplanade J4 and with the entire port. The result is a place available to everything, generous in the multiplicity of uses and possible functions.
The artificial dock hides the base of the building, which has a C-shaped section; the exhibition spaces are located within the projecting volume 36 meters, suspended at 14 meters above sea level, illuminated by side windows, skylights and glazed floors, while the congress center is underwater.