The new Port-Marianne district is a fascinating urban project, a city edge site with an urban imperative. The project offered an opportunity to develop this Mediterranean city in a new and different way, moving away from low-rise developments typically developed on peripheral sites and moving the city’s development towards the sea, despite the presence of heavy transport infrastructure. The project aims to develop a new district in a way which is particularly adapted to the Mediterranean climate and which fulfills the expectations of the local inhabitants.

This 21 hectare site within a government development area on the South-eastern edge of Montpellier has atypical characteristics, sited at the entrance of the city where the A9 motorway, the avenue de la Mer and a tram line converge. Many projects implemented by the city of Montpelier demonstrate the dynamism of this area, such as the new city hall, the Jacques-Coeur development zone ( ZAC), as well as large scale projects such as the future contemporary art museum.

The project designed by ANMA uses the small river La “Lironde” which crosses the project site to develop a new urban wetland at its heart, helping to encourage foot traffic around this new natural area as well as discourage the development of suburban development based around car usage. The plan encourages making the most of its southern orientation and the proximity to the sea for using passive ventilation as well as solar and photovoltaic panels

The master plan enforces the competition programme by developing varied housing typologies within each block. Shops and social facilities are integrated into dense office” towers; these commercial buildings overlook a large urban park which looks over the wetland and towards the motorway. These buildings actively protect the residential zones thanks to their height and orientation in relation to the motorway.