The concept of architecture today has greatly expanded and its work is related to the constructions themselves, urban proposals and the idea of creating monumental sculptural volumes that seek to become the emblem of a city and part of the lives of its citizens and its visitors.
This is the case of the Mirror Pavilion located in the Vieux Port of Marseille. A creation from the Foster + Partners studio, that is, from the mind of Norman Foster, one of the most prestigious architects of our time with works as varied as the Shanghai Bank in Hong Kong or the Millennium Bridge in London.
Marseille Mirror Pavilion
A performance framed within the expansion and revitalization of the Vieux Port of Marseilles, a space considered World Heritage Site by UNESCO and that in 2013 it was remodeled in depth to become a great citizen space, pedestrianizing and eliminating a large part of the port's own constructions that were here. An intervention in which the landscape artist Michel Desvigne. participated
It is in this context that the creation of this Mirror Pavilion is framed, which in the words of Foster himself is a very simple building, adapted to the climate to create shade and that at the same time can accommodate insideevents such as markets or various performances.
It is really a very simple structure, minimally invasive with the environment. The work consists of a high canopy with a surface area of 46 x 22 meters that rises from eight fine stainless steel pillars. The same material used in the cover sheet. But it is an extraordinarily polished steel, so that it becomes a mirror in which all passers-by are reflected, contemplating themselves from a zenithal point of view that is rarely visible to people. In a certain way it reminds us of the famous Chicago sculpture of The Cloud Gate, although in the case of the work of Marsella there is less play with the deformation as with the integration of people with other individuals and in the urban environment.
In this way it has become a real attraction in the city, since you have to go there to see yourself reflected. In other words, the viewer is integrated into the work of art, standing under it or looking at it from around him, to see how its reflection expands beyond its surface.
But it is not a structure that is only admirable when placed inside. It is also thought-provoking that such a simple structure, such as slender cylindrical pillars and a rectangular surface in height, can enhance both a historic space such as this one in the Old Port of Marseille, and at the same time be so inconspicuous from a distance, both from the streets that surround said port as by the sailors who arriveby boat to him.