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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

CMA CGM TOWER in Marseille, France by Zaha Hadid Architects

March 29th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal

More projects by Zaha Hadid

The tower stands at the center of the city’s ambitious regeneration project, Euroméditerranée, located 1km north of the historic center, adjacent to the commercial port.

The site lies 100m back from the sea edge where the elevated motorway viaduct separates as it arrives into 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.

  • ARCHITECT: Zaha Hadid Architects
  • Year: 2006 – 2011
  • PROGRAM: Head offices and parking
  • CLIENT: CMA CGM [Marseille, France]
  • Project Director: Jim Heverin
  • Project Architect: Stephane Vallotton
  • Project Team: Karim Muallem, Simone Contasta, Leonie Heinrich, Alvin Triestanto, MurielBoselli, Eugene Leung, Bhushan Mantri, Jerome Michel, NereaFeliz, Prashanth Sridharan,Birgit Eistert, Evelyn Gono, Marian Ripoll, Andres Flores, Pedja Pantovic
  • Competition Team: Jim Heverin, Simon Kim, Michele Pasca Di Magliano, Viviana Muscettola
  • Associated Architect: SRA –RTA (Paris/ Marseille)
  • CONSULTANTS: Structural engineer: Ove Arup & Partners (London)
  • Services: Ove Arup & Partners (London)
  • Façade engineers: Ove Arup & Partners / Robert-Jan Van Santen Associates (London / Lille)
  • Cost consultant: R2M (Marseille)
  • SIZE: Gross Floor Area 94,000 m² (58,000 Tower / 36,000 Annex Building)
  • Site Area 8,400 m2
  • Footprint Area 6,000 m2
  • Height 33 Floors/142.8 metres
  • Occupancy 2,500
  • MATERIALS: Insitu concrete; Fully Glazed Unitized Facade
  • Software used: AutoCAD, Rhino 3D, Maya, Revit Architecture, DP digital project, 3D Studio Max, Grasshopper and T Spline

CMA CGM TOWER - (c) Hélène Binet

CMA CGM TOWER under construction - (c) Hélène Binet

The building is in 2 parts: tower (56,600m2) and annex (36,600m2) and totals 93,200m2.The new building accommodates up to 2,700 employees, 700 cars and 200 motorcycles in a covered car park, an 800 seat company restaurant, Gym, auditorium and all the associated technical equipment areas.

CMA CGM TOWER - (c) Hélène Binet

The design strategy to deal with an awkward, elongated site was to breakdown the volume of the facade into vertical segments and differentiate them using light and dark glazing. These are then offset to one another with the clear glazing set forward as a separate skin which is articulated architecturally by incorporating the peripheral structural columns.

CMA CGM TOWER Model 1 - (c) Paul King

Architecturally, the external skin has a dual purpose. Firstly it is to act as a solar screen enabling the use of light and non reflective glazing and secondly to free the façade from the constraints of a modular office interior.

CMA CGM TOWER Model 2 - (c) Paul King

Movement and fluidity is introduced into the volumes and façades by generating vectors from the ground surface up which gradually and gently converge towards each other and then bend apart towards the top of the tower. The peripheral structural columns and the nomenclature of the external façade panels follow these vectors to create an elegant and coherent tower.

CMA CGM TOWER Model 3 - (c) Paul King

CMA CGM TOWER Rendering - Front Inclined - courtesy ZHA

CMA CGM TOWER Rendering - Photo Montage - courtesy ZHA

CMA CGM TOWER Rendering - View from the front - courtesy ZHA


CGM Head Office Tower Plan - (c) ZHA


CGM Head Office Tower Elevation 1- (c) ZHA


CGM Head Office Tower Elevation 2- (c) ZHA


CGM Head Office Tower Section 1- (c) ZHA


CGM Head Office Tower Section 2 - (c) ZHA


CGM Head Office Tower Diagram - (c) ZHA

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Categories: 3dS Max, Autocad, Commercial Building, Grasshopper, Revit, Rhino, T-Splines, Tower, Zaha Hadid

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