The modern provencal Venicee

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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Di Lorto Kindergarten

No Kidding Around

"The neighbourhood comprises a school complex, Les Capucins, which includes a kindergarten, designed by Michel Écochard, nestled in the slope of a hill. The rather vernacular composition makes uses of "contour lines" with extreme sensibility. A curved interior street begins in the common space at the entrance, linking the various age groups' classrooms. The set-up of each classroom, with a crafting space and a nap room (for the younger groups) or play yard (for the older children), as well as the generous surfaces and volumes, are the defining characteristics of the project. The framing of views over the city, created by the opening, which are clustered to the north above the neighbourhood, provides adults and children alike with a rich perception of their environment. Whimsical touches abound, such as glassed-in balconies that link classrooms together. Michel Écochard chose to clad the building with red brick from Marseille's Saint-Henri tilery. The master plan's is enhanced by the quality of the exterior landscaping, featuring curved limestone punctuated by mounds that were originally planted with lavender. It constitutes a transition between the rigorous structure of the school house building and the pedestrian pathway that curves around the school grounds. To this day, the Di Lorto retains is intended modernity and fluidity of uses." Translated from a text provided by the DRAC PACA.

Architect :
Michel Ecochard
Year : XXXX
Type : housing
Chemin de la Vierge, 13500 Martigues
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