8ème Art: a Diamond in the heart of Marseilles

Sept. 5, 2022

8ème Art: ein Diamant im Zentrum von Marseille

The renovation of the Renault Retail Group complex, designed by Atelier(s) Alfonso Femia together with Carta Associés and winner of the first prize in the 12th edition of the Grand Prix competition, included the use on the façade of the Diamante Boa R20 tiles by Casalgrande Padana, in the colours Bianco and Argento and in the 10x20 cm size, applied on 60x60 cm panels over a surface of 2000 m2.

‘8ème Art’ Complex - Diamante Boa in Argento and Bianco Ph: ©Stefano Anzini
Diamante Boa R 20 – Ph: ©Stefano Anzini
Diamante Boa R 20 – Photo : ©Stefano Anzini

The ‘8ème Art’ complex is located in an area covering 58,000 m2, in a strategic, symbolic position in Marseilles, where the Huveaune River meets the historic Boulevard Michelet. It is made up of 676 apartments, 151 of them used for social housing, as well as a residence for the elderly with 90 living units and a Renault dealership with a workshop and offices. The new Renualt Michelet complex is arranged along a private internal road that runs from the Boulevard to Rue des Câpriers, at the sides of which are the showroom and the office of the Renault dealership.

8ème Art Complex - Ph:©Luc_Boegly
8ème Art Complex - Ph:©Luc_Boegly

In addition to benefiting from the presence close by of the Huveaune river (an advantage for the positioning of the apartments, which appear to flow gracefully alongside it ), the project site is also located on an urban road axis that brings structure to the area, offering a number of advantages in terms of accessibility, visibility and representability. The river, in particular, strengthens the organic nature of the earth and its relationship with water, anchoring it within the landscape.

Composed of infrastructures and the river, mineral and plant elements, straight and curved lines, and combining rigidity with flexibility and speed with a slower pace, the site the ‘8ème Art’ complex is built on has a dual character shaped by contrasting textures, shapes and colours and by the rich beauty of the surroundings, revealed and enhanced by the project. The renovation has also partially reduced the size of the complex, boosting the quality of the new concept of urban life determined by the project.

‘The architecture continually engages with the light, which is able to establish an empathic relationship with people. We sought to capture the light, to create a living, engaging urban island of matter and light, of collective and personal time: a Mediterranean space. This project revolves around a strategy that seeks balance.’

Alfonso Femia

Diamante Boa R 20 - Ph:©Luc_Boegly
Diamante Boa R 20 - Ph:©Luc_Boegly

Diamante Boa R20 is a collection of porcelain stoneware tiles designed by Alfonso Femia/AF*Design and developed specifically for Casalgrande Padana. These exclusive porcelain stoneware tiles are shaped three-dimensionally all the way through, with a brilliance and multi-faceted quality inspired by diamonds that allow for the creation of shifting surfaces shaped by reflections and light and shade contrasts, offering a different perception every time. Produced in the sizes 10x20 cm and 60x60 cm and in three versions marked by subtle three-dimensional differences, Diamante Boa R20 offers endless possible combinations and customisation options for both indoor and outdoor walls of any size.

Diamante Boa R 20 - Ph:©Luc_Boegly
Diamante Boa R 20 - Ph:©Luc_Boegly
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