A stroll around the Friche

This architectural tour is an opportunity to discover this former blue-collar neighbourhood, which was home to a number of the Seita tobacco factory's workers. These buildings come together to tell a story of two centuries of industrial architecture in the heart of Marseille. The transformation of these abandoned and disused buildings into a number of culture spaces gave birth to La Friche de la Belle de Mai. Tobacco, culture... and the military! The army has recently vacated several barracks in the area. These formerly-abandoned spaces offer new territories for city makers to conquer.

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Tour-Panorama –La friche de la Belle de Mai

Art in Balance

La Friche Belle de Mai, along with the Heritage Area and the Media Cluster, makes up the three zones of the 12-hectare site, which was vacated in 1990 with the closure of the tobacco factories. It is known by the locals as "La Friche" (brownfield), although it has become the beating heart of an innovative, vibrant cultural district at the heart of Marseille. It houses a perfect symbiosis of exhibition spaces, gathering areas, artists' workshops, production studios, and public sports and entertainment facilities. The Tour-Panorama part of the rehabilitation is comprised of two distinct entities, the Panorama and the tower, which come together on the fourth floor on an immense rooftop terrace providing a breathtaking view onto the bay of Marseille. The Panorama is a unique facility in Marseille, in terms of its capacity to accommodate large-scale artworks. Hovering 12 metres above ground level, its is cantilevered off the warehouse's terrace, acting as a belvedere. Its reflective, shiny, translucent white cladding signals the building from the trains coming in and leaving the nearby station. A large span of windows opens the north of the building to the north, with its soft light. Its construction, with its humble materials, is the result of a tight budget, which Matthieu Poitevin, architect and master planner of La Friche, set out to respect. The Tour, conversely, is a rehabilitation of a 4,300-square-metre 19th-century industrial millstone-clad building. A public exhibition space, the building was completely gutted, and its openings were reimagined. It now houses five floors of exhibition spaces, as well a large entrance hall featuring a restaurant and a bookstore.
Architect :
ARM architecture
Year : 2013
Type : cultural equipment
Address : 41 Rue Jobin,
13003 Marseille
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