CMA CGM Headquarters, Marseille
Zaha Hadid Architects
The sloping facade of the tower is generated from a number of gradual centripetal vectors that emerge from within the solid ground surface, gently converging towards each other and then bending apart. The tower’s structural columns define, and are enclosed within, a double façade system that reflects these vectors, generating a dynamic symbiosis between the fixed structural core of the Head Office and its peripheral array of columns.
Flowing past the Mirabeau site on both sides is an elevated motorway viaduct that bifurcates at the western edge of the new tower’s location. At ground level, a major new interchange allows pedestrians to access new public transport facilities, whilst the quay and its waterways are also adjacent to the site.
Detailed exploration and research has created the possibility of a more elegant fluid, sculptural form. The building maintains regularity in the upper levels whilst the lower portion morphs from the vertical to the horizontal to relate to the extreme horizontal energy of pedestrian, automobile, tram and shipping movements at ground level.