The CMA CGM tower is part of the city of Marsielle’s urban regeneration plans, Euroméditerranée, which is located 1km north from the historic centre and sits adjacent to the commercial port. Zaha Hadid Architects designed and completed the project in 2011.
The site is situated 100m from the sea edge and is separated by an elevated motorway at the north of the city. At ground level the site is dominated by the sweeping concrete viaducts overhead and the rhythmic colonnades of their supporting columns. It’s dense and noisy but a rich physical context. At high level, the context is the spectacular views over the bay of Marseille, the city and the docks.
The building is made up of two parts – a tower and an adjoining annex combining to make a total space of 94000m2. The building houses employees, a covered car park, restaurant, gym, auditorium and various amenities.
Due to the elongated nature of the site, the design is formed from a vertical volume with segments that differentiate with light and dark glazing. The external glazing has a dual purpose, first as a solar screen with non-reflective glazing and secondly it creates an expanse that is free from a modular office interior. The ground surface has a gradual curve that meets the opposing plane once vertical.