lafayette marseille

Galeries Lafayette de Marseille-Bourse

  • Fresh energy in the heart of the city


Borne on the wave of Marseille's economic and cultural momentum, a ship built from glass and light has dropped anchor near the Vieux-Port.


Galeries Lafayette's spectacular new glass facade is an architectural exploit. Each of the three floors is shaded by an undulating awning made of metal panels, giving a fluid, wave-like effect to the whole. This elegant ribbon of glass and metal, the work of Moatti-Rivière, is a perfect reflection of Marseille's economic and cultural vitality. For Alain Moatti, a member of the prestigious Académie d'Architecture since 2012, the starting points for any architectural project are the emotion, sublimation and imagination it embodies and the history of the place. Moatti-Rivière, founded in 2001, is known for its skill in working on buildings with a history and steeped in symbolism. The firm extends their identity, giving them a modern face and a new lease of life. Its ingenuity peaks at the junction between architecture, interior architecture, scenography and design, backed by high levels of technical prowess in working with materials, imaging technology and sustainable development. This sculptural, feminine facade illustrates Galeries Lafa­yette's intention to position itself as an innovative disrupter of architectural codes and reassert its presence in the heart of the city. Ever since 1977 the Nouvelles Galeries (renam­ed Galeries Lafayette Marseille-Bourse in 1991) had built on its core values of innovation and commitment to the city centre. Nearly 40 years on, the Galeries Lafayette group's property branch Citynove, in partnership with Axa and Klépierre, is reinventing the entire Bourse shopping centre as a covered urban space that's easy to walk around. Galeries Lafayette is also increasing its retail offering, with some 14,000m2 of sales space including the new Lafayette Gourmet, which opened in June 2014 as the first stage in the store's transformation, which is due for completion in 2016.


Par Claude Ponsolle