The modern provencal venice

The similarities between Martigues and its Italian elder do not stop at the canals that run through both cities. While the Venetian Arsenal welcomes the world's architects as part of the city's art Biennale, the "Provencal Venice" has been an in-situ laboratory for contemporary architecture for over fifty years. Thanks to a proactive policy regarding the construction of public facilities and social housing, Martigues has become a remarkable city with regards to Mediterranean architecture. The quality and usage value of the constructions provided to the local population make them references in the matter. The town is living proof that it is possible to build a perennial city in Provence, at once traditional and industrial, wherein architecture and urban planning act as social glue. Martigues is a part of the Town of Art and History network, enabling the preservation and public enjoyment of its heritage. Between Marseille and Fos-sur-Mer stands as a cathartic architectural and urban response to metropolitan ills.

La Venise Provençale moderne Théâtre des Salins École de Ferrières Hôtel de Ville ZAC Paradis Saint Roch Immeuble Moulins de France Ensemble Collectif Notre Dame des Marins École maternelle Di Lorto Centre Funéraire Municipal
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École de Ferrières École de Ferrières École de Ferrières École de Ferrières

The École de Ferrières

Prefab Grandeur

Built in 1952 in response to the urgency of the post-war era and the Baby Boom, this project demonstrates Jean Prouvé's mastery of his prefabrication technique. The elements were built off-site, then transported and bolted or linked together, like a gigantic Meccano set. The architect and designer could thus ensure the assembly of a classroom in less than two weeks. And while Prouvé always sought to work better, faster, and at less cost, by exploring unusual forms and materials (steel, glass), he never did so at the expense of the user's experience. In the Martigues school, he made clever use of light by playing with openings, mixing spectacular doors opening the classrooms into the courtyard with more discreet portholes. The construction's simplicity is based on the spaces' modularity and ultimately generates a streamlined fluidity of uses, allowing children to enjoy a variety of spatial experiences. As Prouvé mused at the time: "should a school expose children to the architecture of their time, or copy that of bygone eras?" For over sixty years, the Ferrières school has provided living proof of the former.

Architect : Jean Prouvé 
year : 1952
Type : École
Address : Chemin de Paradis, 13500 Martigues
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