Located on the maritime façade, between the Place de la Joliette and the Mucem, the J1, built in 1930 by the Eiffel company, is an emblematic building of the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille.
The call for projects for the conversion of the site provided for a mixed, multifunctional program, suitable for the port activity and oriented towards the Mediterranean and more widely the maritime field.
This conversion concerns the three levels of the building as well as the surroundings of the site: the medians, the quay, and the water level. The group worked on the principle of a link between the port and the city, based on open spaces linked to the esplanade, easily accessible to all, with great transparency, allowing a real porosity between land and sea and offering a great variety of uses and practices thanks to the modularity of the esplanade spaces.
The boundary between interior and exterior is subtle, inviting internal activities to extend onto the esplanade and urban life to enter the building.
Architecturally, the project preserves the heritage value of the J1 while offering an envelope corresponding to its new uses, integrating environmental performance, durability, and ease of maintenance.
The historic concrete skeleton becomes the support for a series of shields and filters, which will, in turn, open, protect, filter, and organize the different spaces and “inside-out” connections.