Aix-en-Provence - Marseille

Aix, Marsille, Provence, France

Islands of Landscapes

Landscape is the immediately visible and powerful strength of a given territory. It can be sensed, and it is what characterises a given territory and binds it together. A metropolitan area is composed of islands of different types of landscapes such as ranges of hills, highlands, the Étang de Berre, or the plains of La Crau. Here, landscape is not countryside; it is not a faraway suburb. It is in and of the metropolis, and forms large future parks.
Islands of landscapes contribute highly qualitative proximity between urban and natural settings. The creation of active borderspace around these islands of landscapes protects them from urban development and it makes them accessible to the public at large.


The study by the LIN team, for the international consultation for the Aix-Marseille Provence (AMP) metropolitan area, seeks to build an integrative approach based on the concept of the common good and territorial diversity. It works with both physical transformation of the area and its image. It seeks to move the entire area forward on every scale. Tangible actions and changes in ways of doing things have been proposed involving three major stakes:
Landscape islands, integrated mobility, economy/culture connections. The reciprocal stimulation between these three areas drives the potential of the area.


Due to its very nature, resilience has no stable definition. Resilience is intrinsically multi-scale, cross-disciplinary and holistic. It approaches subjects both of complexity and of uncertainty. Resilience can be technical when dealing with objects, regulatory when dealing with laws; it can deal with concepts. Resilience can be used as a working method and an instrument for planning.

Overall vision

The Métropole project “capital paysages” contributes specific functionalities and in so doing it assigns tangible usefulness to natural spaces and develops the peripheral spaces that interface with the urban space.
Integrated mobility facilitates travel. The potential hybridization between human travel and transportation of goods, and the development of all modes of transportation is essential for the best adaptation to the territory, and to the dispersal of places. The metropolis of connections builds endogenous and exogenous relations with Toulon, with Arles, with the Durance River valley, the Rhone river corridor, with Europe and the Mediterranean basin. AMP growth will involve ecosystems which mobilise many different players, such as creators, entrepreneurs, researchers, government, users and financial backers.

Integrated mobility

Much as chromosomes do for living beings, the mobility diagram expresses the specificity of metropolitan territories. However, though the area is currently well-connected to the outside world via air, sea, rail and motorways, the entire transportation blueprint must be considered from one end to the other, all the way through to user destination points. The proposed blueprint is organized along three scales:
-Macropolitan: Transports on the wide regional scale around the Rhone delta are structured along two diagonals of combined transportation:
-Metropolitan: The scale corresponding to the main metropolitan TC connections is organized by coastal navigation.
-Micropolitan: This scale corresponds to the diffuse nature of the territory, as it does also respond to local travel. The concept of "transferium" organises collection from low-density sectors, by car, by bicycle or on foot.


An integrated mobility network which inter-connects the area on different scales is not just based on flows. It also requires places to facilitate the exchanges between the flows. These places, which we call Transferium, are based on a concept introduced in the 1990’s in the Netherlands.
A transferium impacts the individual level. It is not just a place of exchange between flux but it is also a platform for the exchange of goods, of information, of ideas, and exchange between individuals. The nodal core also creates an urban core.
A network of transferium covers the entire territory to form a system which integrates all of mobility.
In covering the vast Aix-Marseille Provence area, this system has the ability to project the identity of this metropolitan area. This identity, above and beyond a simple logo on a bus, is expressed differently depending on the sites.

L'Étoile Central Park

The small mountain range known as the “Massif de l’Étoile” is one of the islands of specific landscape in the metropolitan area. The peripheral borders of the range are among the most heavily urbanized. This range offers an outstanding relation of city-to-nature proximity. And yet the slopes of the hills are perceived as being “behind” the city, like space relegated from sight, far from mind (like the dump in Septèmes-les-Vallons).
Transformation of this range into a true central metropolitan park is a strong feature of the future metropolis.

West entrance to the Parc Central

The dump for Septèmes-les-Vallons is located at the base of the Étoile range. The dump overlooks the La Kalliste and La Savine districts and is the source of severe problems for these areas which see continuous heavy truck traffic.
Closure of this dump must serve as the opportunity to develop a significant project in this peripheral space between dense city and the Etoile Central Park.
The project proposes to undertake the following concomitantly:
- An entrance to the Central Park (information center, park resource center, food service...)
- a leisure area for local inhabitants
- improve the land for the production of energy (gas produced from waste, or solar energy).


Inspired by the German IBA, the French ETM “Équipes de Territoire Métropolitains” are Metropolitan Territorial Teams which are operational units in charge of specific sectors. These teams hold the knowledge of a given territory and create connections between the various stakeholders.
ETM teams are facilitators and accelerators for development.


The metropolitan area belongs to everyone. Leading a true public process and involving the metropolis dwellers in the future development of their territory is a significant task.

Project Data


AMP- Métropole Capital Paysages is a vision for the development of the metropolitan region of Aix Marseille Provence as well as a model of a prosperous and ecologically balanced territory.

Client: Mission Interministerielle Métropole Aix-Marseille-Provence;

Status:Territorial and urban consultation(2015), Text edition(2016)

Location: Aix Marseille Provence, France

Surface: 3173 km²


Architects: LIN Architects Urbanists, Berlin / Paris: Finn Geipel, Giulia Andi

Fabienne Boudon (project manager), Lou Bellegarde, Océane Reveillac, Albin Lépine, Bruno Pinto da Cruz, Clara Fonder, Guillaume Pinton-Delteil, Khouloud Nechi Analyse urbaine et urbanisme: SMETS Consultants in Urbanism bvba, co-traitant(Marcel SMETS) Urbanisme et architecture:ORG bvba, co-contracting Paysage: ZUS /Zones Urbaines Sensibles, co-contracting Mobility, territorial development, environment and urban planning: EGIS, co-contracting Landscape economy: CMN PARTNERS, subcontractor Sociology: REPÉRAGE URBAIN, subcontractor Artistic and participative Interventions: YES WE CAMP, subcontractor Urban and landscape ecology: Michael Kleyer, consultant Philosophy, society, culture: Joseph Hanimann , consultant Architecture and urbanism: SUSANNE OTTO, Consultant relais local Architecture – Urbanism: LIA(Chair of Finn Geipel at technical University, Berlin)


Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Islands of Landscapes
Image 1/10
Image 2/10
Image 3/10
Overall vision
Image 4/10
Integrated mobility
Image 5/10
Image 6/10
L'Étoile Central Park
Image 7/10
West entrance to the Parc Central
Image 8/10
Image 9/10
Image 10/10
Category Ref. Title Year City Country Type Status
Architecture BGW Bremer Punkt Bremer Punkt 2017 Bremen Germany Housing Realized + 1856
Architecture SCD Cite du design Cite du design 2009 Saint Etienne France Culture Realized + 1848
Architecture PAQ Housing Building, Quai Henri IV Housing Building, Quai Henri IV 2015 Paris France Housing Realized + 1713
Architecture SNA Alveole 14 Alveole 14 2007 Saint- Nazaire France Culture Realized + 1490
Urban PAM Grand Paris Métropole Douce Grand Paris Métropole Douce 2008 Paris France Urban Design Study + 1372
Architecture BT2 Typenhochhaus Typenhochhaus 2017 Berlin Germany Housing Competition first prize + 1008
Architecture SWF Sevran mixed use and housing building Sevran mixed use and housing building 2014 Sevran France Housing Lot I completion September 2018, Lot III completion March 2019 + 1170
Architecture PRC Mixed use and housing building Mixed use and housing building 2014 Paris France Housing under construction + 1142
Architecture N6N Halle 6 Halle 6 2015 Nantes France Culture competition, 1st prize + 1153
Design PAR Permanent Exhibition Space Permanent Exhibition Space 2003 Paris France Exhibition Realized + 1187
Architecture TAC Achillion coastal platform Achillion coastal platform 1997 Thesaaloniki Greece Mobility Competition + 1225
Architecture NAC Nîmes Arena Nîmes Arena 1989 Nîmes France Culture Realized + 1675
Architecture AMF Metafort Multimedia Research Centre Metafort Multimedia Research Centre 1998 Aubervillers France Culture Competition + 1307
Architecture LEC National School of Art National School of Art 1994 LIimoges France Education Realised + 1256
Architecture OKH Oldenburg House Oldenburg House 2003 Oldenburg Germany Residential Realized + 1252
Urban ATLAS Atlas Actif des Vallees Stephanoises Atlas Actif des Vallees Stephanoises 2008 Saint Etienne France Research Complete + 1250
Art BSY Synchron Synchron 2005 Berlin Germany Space sculpture Realized + 1265
Architecture POL Office building in Paris Office building in Paris 2012 Paris France Office Building Realized + 1295
Urban KSB Strasbourg - Kehl, Cour des Douanes - Zollhofareal Strasbourg - Kehl, Cour des Douanes - Zollhofareal 2013 Strasbourg / Kehl France / Germany Urban Design Competition First Prize + 1227
Architecture BIN LIN office space LIN office space 2012 Berlin Germany Office Realized + 1408
Urbanism AMP Aix-en-Provence - Marseille Aix-en-Provence - Marseille 2015 Aix, Marsille, Provence France urban urban study + 1055
Design D+-0 Density +- 0 Density +- 0 2004 Paris France Exhibition Realized + 1335
Urbanism STA Urban study for the development of Sevran Urban study for the development of Sevran 2015 Sevran France urban study ongoing + 1137