(RE)MEDIATING MARSEILLE

Ian Page/Dion Barrett/Josh Barlow

In the contempo- rary city of fragments, Rowe & Koetter, in their seminal
text ‘Collage City’, suggest it is better to allow the different fragments to act independently, developing there own identity, economic drivers and so forth – an application to the city of the post-modern idea that all narratives are valid and therefore cannot be overridden by a single vision of the ideal.Whilst many contemporary master plans work within these fragments, (Re)Mediating Marseilles addresses the importance of the mechanisms that mediate between the fragments in creating

a city that can work holistically, without the polarity between them that is especially evident in Marseilles today. Liminality
is the psychological condition of being in a transitory state, a point between two different conditions where you are no longer a part of either one. It is this condition we see as important in interrelating the disjointed parts of the city; liminal spaces, by not belonging to anyone, become a physical and psychological threshold between fragments that help to both define their identity and mediate between them.

We describe our boulevard as ‘Liminal’. A 10 km spine through

the city interlinking all the major urban magnets of Marseille. A new highly efficient tram infrastructure that connects the North and South, creates a direct link between these two poles, con- centrating development along it. The spaces and infrastructure along the boulevard are reorganised to maximise public space strategically according to the context either side. In this way, the boulevard does not become an homogenised, gentrified axis of power, but actually begins to define the neighbourhoods that border the boulevard through this liminal threshold where the different communities can interact and exchange.