Dynamic Grandeur, Sculpted Finesse on the Mediterranean

“Built to last” is one way container shipping company CMA CGM describes its international headquarters, the 147-m-tall CMA CGM Tower overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Marseille, France. Served by 13 elevators
(including two panoramic and two freight units), the tower is the brainchild of late CMA CGM founder Jacques Saadé. An admirer of architect Zaha Hadid’s work, he commissioned Hadid to design the tower in 2004 to house approximately 2,400 employees. He envisioned a landmark forming a gateway to the city, as well as linking city and port. Hadid conceived a “33-story asymmetric edifice of dynamic grandeur and sculpted finesse,” according to CMA CGM.

Opening its doors in January 2011, CMA CGM Tower features a 135-m-long annex (nearly as long as the building is tall) including a curved, glass footbridge. The annex houses the structure’s information-technology equipment, generators, cooling units, boiler rooms and technical installations. The tower is infused with natural light, and a double-skinned glass façade and electronic temperature management system help minimize energy consumption. In anticipation of future codes, the tower was built to be earthquake-resistant. The structural engineer was Arup, and elevator equipment was provided by Schindler.

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