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Who Designed Mucem Marseille?

Renowned for its architectural fusion, Mucem Marseille captivates culture and history enthusiasts. The museum, designed by Rudy Ricciotti, seamlessly integrates contemporary elements with the historic Fort Saint-Jean, mirroring its exploration of Mediterranean civilizations. The juxtaposition of the sleek J4 building against the rugged fort creates a compelling visual narrative. Today, Mucem Marseille stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of the Mediterranean region, enticing visitors with its intricate blend of past and present.

Knowledge Graph

Knowledge Graph
  • Official Name: Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean (MuCEM)
  • Attraction Type: Museum
  • Location: 1 Esp. J4, 13002 Marseille, France
  • Founded: 7th June 2013
  • Area: 45,000 sqm
  • Architectural Style: Contemporary
  • Main Architects: Rudy Ricciotti and Roland Carta

Architectural Style

Mucem Marseille's architecture, crafted from mineral-like fiber-based concrete, boasts a classical Latin layout—72 meters square, housing a smaller 52-meter square within. The building's allure lies in lace façades aglow with colored lights, creating a vibrant ambiance. Inspired by the Mediterranean, its fluid shape and materials pay homage to the sea's beauty. Sustainability shines through its construction with fiber-based concrete, reflecting a commitment to innovation. The Galerie de la Méditerranée, a 1,600-square-meter exhibition, enhances the museum's architectural prowess, making Mucem Marseille a captivating synthesis of classical form, sustainability, and Mediterranean inspiration.

Who Designed Mucem Marseille?

Mucem Marseille

Rudy Ricciotti

Rudy Ricciotti, a distinguished French architect, is celebrated for his avant-garde designs and inventive material applications. As the visionary behind Mucem Marseille, his creation symbolizes Marseille's modern transformation. Ricciotti's design pays homage to classical antiquity, influenced by Pythagorean principles, seamlessly merging with the landscape. The result is a masterpiece that offers stunning views of the sea and city and stands as a testament to architectural innovation in the heart of Marseille.

Mucem Marseille

Ronald Carta

Renowned architect Roland Carta, celebrated for his innovative designs seamlessly blending with surroundings, collaborated with Rudy Ricciotti in crafting the MuCEM. Their joint creation, symbolizing Marseille's modernity, showcases a mineral quality and a perfect square shape as nods to classical antiquity's principles. Carta's expertise in creating visually appealing yet functional spaces significantly contributes to MuCEM's success, solidifying its status as an architectural gem in the Marseille skyline.

Stages of Construction of Mucem Marseille

  • Planning and Design: Ricciotti and Carta collaborated to design MuCEM, which is dedicated to exploring Mediterranean civilizations and was inaugurated in 2013 during Marseille's European Capital of Culture designation.
  • Site Selection: MuCEM stands on the former J4 port pier, symbolizing Marseille's Mediterranean connection and cultural diversity.
  • Architectural Style: Ricciotti's design blends classical antiquity with modernity, featuring a mineral quality and perfect square shape. The Galerie de la Méditerranée showcases Mediterranean influences.
  • Construction: Revolutionary UHPC material, lightweight and durable, forms MuCEM. Fiber-based concrete contributes to its unique appearance and sustainability.
  • Opening and Reception: Opened in 2013, MuCEM symbolizes Marseille's transformation, attracting millions and exemplifying innovation in materials and design.

Structure of Mucem Marseille

Mucem Marseille

The MuCEM in Marseille, a masterpiece by Rudy Ricciotti and Roland Carta, showcases a revolutionary architectural synthesis. The perfect square, 72 meters per side, hosts the Galerie de la Méditerranée, celebrating Mediterranean influences. Ricciotti and Carta employed cutting-edge materials, like fiber-reinforced ultra-high-performance concrete, infusing the structure with a unique mineral quality and delicate lace-like façades. Evolving into a symbol of Marseille's transformation, the building's vibrant night illumination, reminiscent of a lighthouse, graces the city's entrance. The play of light and shadows, combined with seamless integration into the landscape, elevates MuCEM as a true marvel in the Marseille skyline.

Interior of Mucem Marseille

Facades and Cladding:

Cloaked in a unique concrete latticework, MuCEM's lace-like appearance is accentuated at night by colored lights, creating a dynamic and vibrant atmosphere, turning it into a gem in the Marseille skyline.

Integration with Landscape:

Located on the former J4 pier, MuCEM seamlessly integrates with the surrounding port, offering breathtaking views of the sea and the city providing an inspiring space for celebrating Mediterranean culture.


Inspired by classical antiquity and Pythagorean principles, MuCEM's design serves as a symbolic link between Marseille and the Mediterranean, embodying diverse cultural influences.


Yann Kersalé's lighting design transforms MuCEM at night, echoing Mediterranean vibrations. The South and West facades play with shades of blue and turquoise, resembling rippling water and acting as a mesmerizing signal visible from land and sea.

Exterior of Centre Pompidou

Exhibition Space

Exhibition Space

MuCEM's interiors boast two key exhibition spaces: the Mediterranean gallery, unraveling significant steps of Mediterranean civilizations, and a dedicated area for compelling temporary exhibitions. Each space offers a nuanced exploration of diverse cultural narratives.

Floor Plans & Design - Mucem Marseille

Floor Plans & Design

MuCEM's floor plans are meticulously crafted to guide visitors seamlessly through exhibits, creating an immersive journey. The thoughtful use of light and color enhances the visual appeal, elevating the overall experience and highlighting the intricate details of the displayed artifacts and narratives.

Internal Facilities - Mucem Marseille

Internal Facilities Available

Beyond exhibitions, MuCEM enhances visitor experiences with versatile facilities. An auditorium hosts shows, concerts, and cinema cycles. A curated bookshop enriches literary exploration, while a panoramic restaurant, under the guidance of three-star chef Gerald Passédat, invites patrons to savor Mediterranean flavors amidst panoramic views. These amenities contribute to MuCEM's allure as a multifaceted cultural destination.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Mucem Marseille Architecture

What is the architectural style of Mucem Marseille?

The architectural style of Mucem Marseille is contemporary, with a bit of a classical touch.

Who designed Mucem Marseille?

Rudy Ricciotti and Roland Carta are the two architects who designed Mucem Marseille.

What was Mucem Marseille inspired by?

The sea and Mediterranean civilization inspired Mucem Marseille.`

When was Mucem Marseille inaugurated?

Mucem Marseille was inaugurated in 2013.

How old is Mucem Marseille?

Mucem Marseille is over ten years old.

What's inside Mucem Marseille?

Interior features include two main exhibition spaces, a Mediterranean gallery, and temporary exhibition areas.

What is on the exterior of Mucem Marseille?

The exterior boasts unique concrete latticework and stunning integration with the surrounding landscape.

How big is Mucem Marseille?

Mucem Marseille covers an area of 45,000 sqm.

What is Mucem Marseille made out of?

Mucem Marseille is constructed with innovative materials, including fiber-reinforced ultra-high-performance concrete.

Where can I buy tickets to Mucem Marseille?

You can buy Mucem Marseille tickets online or on-site.