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[First look] Foster and Partners has unveiled plans to revamp Marseille’s Vieux Port in France

Planned to complete in time for the city’s inauguration as European Capital of Culture in 2013, the project transforms the World Heritage-listed port creating performances spaces and removing traffic.

Existing quayside boat houses will be replaced with new platforms and clubhouses extending over the water while the harbour itself will be landscaped in pale-coloured granite.

The scheme features a ‘dramatic blade of reflective stainless steel’ at its eastern edge which is the canopy for a flexible events pavilion.

Norman Foster said: ‘I know the harbour at Marseille well and it is a truly grand space. This project is a great opportunity to enhance it using very simple means, to improve it with small, discreet pavilions for events, for markets, for special occasions.

‘Our approach has been to work with the climate, to create shade, but at the same time to respect the space of the harbour – just making it better.’

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