A theatrical urban intervention responding to today's social acitvities

The boulevard above the mediatheque as platform for the urban space as theatre.

1.The Old Port of Marseile   2.Transition from spectator to actor towards the old port    3.Diagramatic section of urban context

The program is redefined into two audience groups. 1. Capital of Culture 2013/ a broad international audience 2. Mediatheque/ local citizens

1. The spectator becomes the actor    2.The mediatheque program is placed on the water (the stage)   3.The capital of culture program is folded up.

Section of design

Plans of the boulevard & interior plan of the mediatheque

View from the urban audience space, the existing site.

On the boulevard during the day, a place for recreation.

On the boulevard looking back at the site.

The interior space.

A close up view on the tower.

During the event of Capital of Culture, the boulevard becomes a space to serve outdoor events.

studio public realm / public building / msc1
old port, marseille, france location
24.000 m2 size
mediatheque, exhibition function
miyushi van hijfte & lindi hofman in cooperation with

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.