A new district on the sea
Yacht Class n°16 (march-april-may 2019)
In 2025, the Principality of Monaco will inaugurate its new district, Portier Cove. Six hectares will be reclaimed from the sea to create this new area, which will offer high-end building and villas, shops, a vast park, but also an animated marina.
Text : Aurore Teodoro – Photos : Bouygues TP, Principauté de Monaco SAM L’Anse du Portier – Renzo Piano Building Workshop – Valode & Pistre Architectes – Michel Desvigne Paysagiste
It is one of those pharaonic and great technical challenges that only Monaco can carry out. After Fontvieille, Port Hercules and the Larvotto beaches, reclaimed from the sea, the Principality intends to remodel another part of its coastline. In 2025, a brand new district, Portier Cove will be built at the foot of the Monte-Carlo Casino, between the Larvotto Marine Reserve and the Spélugues Marine Reserve. This new eco-district will offer an exclusively pedestrian surface and will accommodate high-end housings, shops, public walkways, park areas, but also an animated marina of about thirty berths.
But before walking under the pines and other Mediterranean species that will adorn this urban landscape, the construction project involves enormous challenges. And it all began in August 2016, with the relocation of the Posidonia meadows, a protected marine species, and mother-of-pearls on the work site. A world's first in line with the environmental commitments of the Principality and Prince Albert II. It took eight months to move these species to the Larvotto reserve and at the bottom of the Fontvieille dike and finally start the riprap removal and the dredging of sediment. Once the rocky seabed exposed, backfilling operations began. The 1.5 million tons of rock placed there will act as a foundation for the perimetre "belt" of the extension that will define the silhouette of this eco-district. It actually consists in eighteen caissons, weighing 10 000 tons each and reaching 27 metres in height, which have been conceived in Marseilles. The first caisson was sent to Monaco in late July 2018, they will be all delivered by the first semester of 2020.
A new marina
Actually seven of these caissons have already been delivered and installed, on the Spélugues side, where the small animation marina will be located. It should accommodate about thirty berths. This marina "will have a fairly interesting scale, similar to those along the Ligurian coast or to the old small ports of French Riviera. More intimate, with shops around, a public square on the north side. There will also be works of art, Mediterranean pines. It will be a pleasant and lively place" explained Joost Moolhuijzen, architect and administrator of Renzo Piano Building Workshop, in charge of the port and the adjoining building, which also aims to perfectly blend with its environment and the sea. "The building is "raised". When on the public square (overhanging the marina), we will be able to see through, towards the sea and the horizon. It was very important for us to have this connection with the sea and the light," underlined the architect. Note that the building's private swimming pool, at the entrance to the harbour, will act as a breakwater to limit the swell that can important in the Monegasque bay.
Next stages: the completion of the caisson belt and then of the maritime infrastructure in 2020. Construction work of the new district is expected to start afterwards, with a delivery of the entire district expected for 2025.