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The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (MuCEM) opens its doors today in Marseille (France). Signed by architect Rudy Ricciotti, a great ambassador of concrete, this avant-garde creation was the scene of several technical feats and world premières, made possible thanks to our ultra-high performance concrete Ductal®. Our contribution to make Marseille a more beautiful city!

Photos: ©Lafarge Library - Charles Plumey-Faye - Rudy Ricciotti

A place for culture and sharing, all made out of concrete!

With the inauguration of the MuCEM by the French President François Hollande followed by the public opening on June 7, a 10-year architectural and technical epic comes to an end with a spectacular epilogue.

For this first museum worldwide dedicated to the Mediterranean cultures, laying on the waterfronts of Marseille, at the Old Port entrance, on the former port jetty J4, the architect Rudy Ricciotti designed an exceptional building open on the sea, and able to install a dialogue between the two shores of the Mediterranean sea and open a new horizon for Marseille inhabitants. « For the MuCEM, I wanted a place for a stroll and a place of culture, a popular museum offering a different trip through the Mediterranean Sea. »
A 15,000m² mineral cube where concrete is king and gives all its strength and lightness to the building. A creation where Rudy Ricciotti pushed concrete to its limits: « Nothing in this work is purely decorative. Everything is structural, just like a fish skeleton. We progress towards a dematerialization of the concrete structure which becomes delicate, long and thin, energetic like a coral rock. »

Rudy Ricciotti-Lafarge, a partnership intense in creations

With Lafarge product, Rudy Ricciotti gave birth to other major buildings mainly using the technology of ultra-high performance concrete: Seoul Walkway or the Islamic Art Department of the Louvre. Our Ductal® concrete has also been used for the new Jean Bouin Stadium in Paris, which will be inaugurated during the summer of 2013.

« Ricciotti, Architect»

A partner to Lafarge, la Cité de l'Architecture de Paris organized the « Ricciotti, Architecte » exhibition from 10 April to 8 September 2013. Thirty emblematic projects retracing the creative adventure of this pioneer and ambassador of concrete.

Building more beautiful cities

Our innovative products and solutions contribute to make cities more beautiful, by participating in the construction of iconic buildings, just like Ductal® for the MuCEM.

Lafarge Ductal® concrete at the heart of the architectural creation

Thanks to its delicacy, its flexibility and its high resistance, our ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) Ductal® made possible the architectural feat and technical challenge of the MuCEM.


  • A unique structure worldwide: Ductal® prestressed concrete columns are a world première. Another originality: the floors were manufactured first, then laid on scaffoldings and then bound with columns. The result: the visitors of the museum can enjoy large column-free spaces to admire the art pieces.


  • Elegant pathways: Ductal® also allowed achieving the two pathways which smoothly link the MuCEM to the city of Marseille. The pathway linking the MuCEM to the Fort Saint-Jean is one of the slenderest concrete pathways with its 115m length and 1.80m height.


  • Concrete lace: the MuCEM is encased in a mesh made out of Ductal®, which lets light, air and the smell of iodine in, while acting as a windbreak. Our ultra-high performance concrete allowed manufacturing the 384 panels covering with delicacy the two facades and the roof of the museum.


  • A walkway suspended between the inside space and the outside: Between the columns and the heart of the building, the corridors wind around the museum. 820 m dedicated to elegant and delicate strolls, thanks to Ductal®. Our concrete is also concealed in the brackets supporting the walkway from the roof of the building.

Upon the initiative of Rudy Ricciotti, pioneer and ambassador of concrete, and Bonna Sabla for the precast, the MuCEM reveals the architectonic and structural qualities of Ductal®, our ultra-high performance fibered concrete, in yet unexplored dimensions! « We do not know where this material will lead us. We can reinvent the world. »

The MuCEM in figures

  • 40 000 m², including the J4 building of 15 000 m²
  • 7 levels
  • 15 688 m3 of concrete, including 711 m3 of UHPC Ductal®
  • 308 columns
  • 384 mesh panels
  • 6 m x 3 m of surface for each mesh panel
  • 35 brackets of 14 m scope
  • 2 walkways, one of 115 m and the other of 69 m

Ductal® the ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC)

This Lafarge concrete is especially designed for structural or architectonic applications. It offers the innovative qualities of compression and shock resistance, of ductility, aesthetics and longevity, for thinner and lighter pieces of bigger dimensions.

Lafarge follows le #MUCEM on Instagram

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