Zaha Hadid once summed up the qualities that she was planning for the CMA CGM Tower that her practice was designing in Marseille as ‘simplicity, efficiency, and modernity’. After four years, the end result for the world headquarters of CMA CGM (the French container transportation and shipping company) provides evidence that these qualities have been achieved in ways that have benefitted not only the office spaces of the company but also the skyline of the second biggest city in France.
The asymmetrical and sculptural CMA CGM Tower occupies 64,000 square meters, it is 174 metres tall and it measures 75 metres at its widest point. Its 33 storeys offer working spaces with panoramic views of Marseille for the 2,700 employees of CMA CGM based in the city.
Connected to the tower by a curved glass bridge (in a fluid shape that is an extension of the façade), the 135-metre long “annex” reproduces the main building’s measurements horizontally. Contrary to what the name implies, this annex plays a vital role as it contains all the equipment required to ensure life runs smoothly in the Tower, including information systems, generators, refrigeration units, and boiler rooms.