Extensive urbanistic development already put Marseille forward to the public attention in 2013 when the city successfully hosted the European Capital of Culture (ECOC).
Marseille is a city of diversity: Busy markets, welcoming café, multicultural everyday life and colourful street art enrich the streetscape. Yet social disparities, poverty versus wealth and the handling of generations of immigrants are a big challenge for the city. Marseille has found itself in a structural transformation process - architecturally, urbanistic as well as culture- and sociopolitically.
To show the city in its complexity, CaP.CULT highlights various facets of Marseille, explores different districts of the city, discusses problem areas, potential as well as actual development and thus provides interesting encounters. During the guided tours current architectural developments, urban context, social and political backgrounds are presented in a profound way. Interesting examples of modern and contemporary architecture and the visit of appealing and remarkable districts of the city are part of various tours as well as visits of buildings interiors.
In close cooperation with our local network partners CaP.CULT proposes differentiated and profound insights into the city - including progress, difficulties and challenges - by means of meetings and discussions with experts.
Like no other former European Capital of Culture (ECOC) Marseille gives proof
of the chance of having been ECOC as a catalyst for development, change and news:
Under the influence of the large-scale cultural urban development project the Vieux Port (Old Harbour) was redesigned by British architect Norman Foster and several new cultural buildings were realised: amongst others the MuCEM – Museum for European and Mediterranean Civilisations (Arch. Rudy Ricciotti) and the Villa Méditerranée (Arch. Stefano Boeri).
Since 2013 Marseille made enormous steps forward in respect to architectural and urban development: The new skyline of Marseille will be build until 2018 – including skyscrapers by Jean Nouvel, Yves Lion, Roland Carta and Jean-Baptiste Pietri. The former industrial harbour area in the "La Joliette" district, a lively quarter was created, for example by the rededication of the former "Les Docks" warehouses, the new FRAC (Regional Collection of Contemporary Art, Kengo Kuma) or the renovation of the former "Les Voûtes" warehouses below and the redesign of the esplanade around the cathedral. Due to those projects the historical city centre and the new district have been connected. Also the area around the central train station was restored as a new university campus.
Additionally in the artistic and cultural field many things happened since the ECOC year 2013: New collaborations between different cultural institutions arose, the Friche Belle de Mai, a former tobacco factory - nowadays an art and culture centre, invested in the development of its area but also in its content. Another proof of the citys’ image change is that the “Manifester 13”, the European Biennale for Contemporary Art, will take place in Marseille in 2020.
It seems that the city becomes a fertile ground for creative projects!