The old port of Marseille is in the midst of the city center and defines the point from where the city began. It is in this port that the city was first established.The subsequent development of the city happened in relationship to this place. Today the old port is still the point around which the public realm is anchored and when being here one gets a sense of being center stage.
When moving through the neighborhoods surrounding the port one regularly catches glimpses of the port through the narrow streets of Marseille.
The port as a void seems to draw the spectator out from the dense shelter of the surrounding neighborhoods.
Peering out at the port from the urban fabric we experience different degrees of detachment or involvement with the activity of the port.
The topography surrounding the port slopes down in the shape of an Greek amphitheater with the port at the center.
The port and the surrounding topography is comparable to a Greek amphitheater.
In the same way an amphitheater focusses the spectators attention on the stage the topography of the city serves to orientate ones gaze towards the port where all the slopes meet.
The sloped surfaces of the public spaces activates the space and lend themselves to spontaneous use by the public: skate boarding, meeting etc.