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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The Paradis-Saint Roch ZAC

Circles, Squares and Colours!

In the 1960s, the City of Martigues decided to connect the Paradis and Saint-Roch neighbourhoods. Thus, was born the Paradis Saint-Roch ZAC (comprehensive development area). Besides the need to house the Algerian repatriates, the coming of a large steelwork factory at the Fos port and the relaunch of refinery activities generated a great number of jobs, which in turn made the building of residential units necessary. Inspired by the era's urbanism trends, such as the separation of pedestrian and vehicular traffic and the creation of green space, it was decided that the residences should be divided into small neighbourhoods clustered around the social facilities. In spite of financial constraints, the architects sought once again to eschew the monotony of towers and slabs and to differentiate the residences. From these constructive constraints was born the idea of using "circles and squares", and to use of various colours, which was a new concept at the time. The result quickly found favour with the local population.

The building was classified Patrimoine du XXème Siècle (the French “20th Century Heritage” designation).
Architect: BCDMB Atelier
Year: 1963 - 1974
Type :Housing
Address : Zac Paradis Saint-Roch, 13500 Martigues
Géolocalisation google 43.297292,5.361493