France: Marseille setting sail once more with the MuCEM

21 March 2013

With the MuCEM, architect Rudy Ricciotti gives a new dimension to our Ductal® UHPC that has never been explored before. Rising gracefully at the entrance of the Old Port of Marseille, this avant-garde creation is the flagship of the metamorphosis of the Mediterranean city, which has been designated European Capital of Culture for 2013.


Laying on the waterfronts of Marseille, at the Old Port entrance, the MuCEM - first museum worldwide dedicated to the Mediterranean cultures - was designed by its architect, Rudy Ricciotti as "a place for a stroll and a place of culture, a popular museum offering a different trip through the Mediterranean Sea."

A symbol of Marseille showcasing concrete

In this 15,000m² mineral cube, concrete is king and gives all its strength and lightness to the building. Because of its delicacy, its flexibility and its high resistance, LafargeHolcim's ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) Ductal® made possible the architectural feat and technical challenges of the MuCEM:

  • Prestressed concrete columns on the sides (a world premier!) enabling large pillar-free spaces to admire the art pieces.
  • Two pathways smoothly linking the MuCEM to the city of Marseille. The pathway linking the MuCEM to the Fort Saint-Jean has neither arch nor cable and is one of the slenderest concrete pathways with its 115 m length and 1.80 m height.
  • A concrete lace made of 384 panels, letting light, air and the smell of iodine in, while acting as a windbreak.
  • An 820 m walkway winding around the museum. Our concrete is also concealed in the brackets supporting the walkway from the roof of the building.

Upon the initiative of Rudy Ricciotti, pioneer and ambassador of concrete, and Bonna Sabla for the precast, the MuCEM reveals the architectonic and structural qualities of Ductal®, our ultra-high performance fibered concrete, in yet unexplored dimensions! « We do not know where this material will lead us. We can reinvent the world. » And make more beautiful cities!

Lafarge Ductal for the concrete lace of the MuCEM in Marseille by Rudy Ricciotti