Short Description

This new shopping center is located in the 8th quarter of Marseille, next to the Stade Velodrome, implementing the concepts of Cradle to Cradle. The aim is to provide both to workers and visitors a healthy and pleasant area, while enforcing sustainable innovations. Renewable energy is used, as materials are chosen to return to a biological or technical cycle without quality loss, and the biodiversity is supported and celebrated.

This project takes part in a more general project consisting in creating a new neighborhood around the Velodrome, an eco-neighborhood. The mall is composed of 50 shops allocated on 5 floors, for a commercial area of 23 000 m2. In addition, a parking lot will offer 800 spaces to customers, workers and to the neighborhood. It should be finished in late 2017.

The development has already received two certifications: BREEAM Excellent 2011 and BBC 2005 PEQA Certification.


The shopping center Prado-Velodrome has a positive footprint with added values in the following fields:

Healthy Air & Climate

The aim is to offer visitors and traders a pleasant atmosphere and to improve air quality, by
– Opening the mall to the outside
– Using vegetation on roofs and walls to filter and cleanse the air

Healthy Materials & Technical Materials Recycling

The project pays attention in the possibility for materials to return to a biological or technical cycle without quality loss:
– Some materials are appropriate for a technological cycle
– Cradle to Cradle certified products are used, like carpets
– These materials could inspire other subcontractors to use Cradle to Cradle materials.

Biodiversity & Landscape Enhancement

A great effort is made to support biodiversity in this project:
– Green spaces, with a lot of different species, are set up, as well as green roofs and walls
– Beehive will be installed on the rooftop
– An herbarium will be installed
– A special place will be dedicated to aromatic plants on the roof

Mobility & Flexibility Enhancement

The project aims at encouraging to improve mobility and flexibility, by:
– Supporting staff’s involvement in collaborative ways of transportation like carsharing
– Creating modular and shared spaces with a parking lot usable both by visitors and inhabitants of the neighborhood

Renewable Positive Energy

The building will produce renewable energy by using the waste water heat: the waste water will go through an exchanger.

Quality of Life, Performance and Cultural Diversity

The Quality of life and wellbeing is a very important dimension of the project:
– The daylight obtained in the building thanks to the canopy and the windows is very beneficial for workers and users: it has effect on the stimulation of immune system, the moral, and eyestrain. Daylight also will greatly increase productivity
– The opening to the outside ensures a pleasant atmosphere without suffering from confinement
– The thermal comfort is assured by the canopy which plays the role of sunscreen

Economical Activity, Innovation and Local Dynamism

The project will offer local jobs to help jobless people out of professional exclusion:
– Human services will be offered to customers, to support them and facilitate their organisation during and after their shopping time.

Intended Use

Retail centre (commercial project)


  • Project Architect(s):

    Benoy Architectes et Didier Rogeon Architecte

  • Project Developer(s):


  • Project Engineer(s) & Contractor(s):


  • Project Advisor: EPEA Paris

Project Showcase


  • Structure

    Air System


    Green Spaces

    • ⁂ Daylight
    • Positive Impact

      In design stage, studies were conducted to evaluate the comfort and wellbeing in the mall and in the offices in particular. These studies succeeded to determine office's depth, size of windows, but also the colors of possible interior coatings to ensure that workers receive the best daylighting conditions.

    • Benefits

      Daylight is beneficial for workers. It has effect on the stimulation of immune system, the moral, and eyestrain. Daylight also will greatly increase productivity.

    Element Showcase

  • Roof

    • ⁂ Enhance Air Quality and Indoor Climate ()
    • Positive Impact

      The mall project is covered by a canopy. Beyond being a beautiful architectural object, the canopy filled several functions coming transform the quality of use.

      The canopy design and its transparency enable the mall to get a lot of daylight. In addition, in Design stage, consulting firms had worked on the canopy shape to provide effective protection to wind and rain. Several simulations were performed to transform and adapt it to create a pleasant atmosphere despite a strong wind as the mistral or heavy rain that we know in the south of France.

      Regarding thermal comfort, the canopy plays the role of sunscreen, as the rays are already filtered by a first layer before reaching the windows of the mall. Moreover, the opening to the outside does not decrease the level of comfort as the canopy limits the entry of wind and humidity. On the contrary, it offers visitors a good air quality (research has shown that usually the air quality in shopping centers is often bad due to the presence of many chemicals in the items sold and in the cleaning products used). This air quality will also be enhanced by the presence of plant walls of 350m².

      Different studies have been proceeded in the way to optimize the whole shape of the canopy to ensure a maximal comfort in the mall, for example:

      • The CSTB led the rain incidence study
      • ARCORA studied the global shape of the canopy
      • OASIIS studied the wind incidence in the mall
      • OPTIFLOW realized the thermal comfort study

    Element Showcase

  • Roof

    Air System


    Green Spaces

    • ⁂ Integrate Biological Nutrients, Enhance Air Quality and Indoor Climate ()
    • ⁂ Plant wall and green roofs
    • Positive Impact

      Different green elements are arranged through the mall: a plant wall of 350 m² and different plant massifs on the roof and terraces, made up of 730m² of “Tundra” and 260 m² of flowerbox with large variety of species.

      The distribution of these elements in top levels shall reinforce the thermal inertia of the building and betters the thermal performance.
      Moreover, plant varieties are being selected. Choices will turn to plants whose capacity air filter has been proven like Neprolepsis exaltata, hedera helix, chlorophytum comosum vittatum…

      CIRMAD will do his best to integrate other varieties identified for their positive impact on health like: Scindapsus aureus or Rhapis excels for their capacity to absorb harmful elements (ammoniac, xylene, carbon monoxide, benzene…).

      As a result these varieties will permit to cleanse the air and thus bring a healthy benefit as for shoppers than for storekeepers. It aims to create an atmosphere proper to the mall and protects it from the car traffic of the near boulevard.

    Element Showcase


  • Integration Clause

    • Positive Impact

      CIRMAD maintains close cooperation with Emergence leading to social integration of workers.

      This association ensures the compliancy of PLIE, Plan Local pour l’Insertion et l’Emploi, - ieInsertion and Job Local Plan – on the territory.
      The integration clause will more easily allow jobless people to come back to work. This includes: RSA beneficiaries, long term unemployed, long term jobseeker, young people without qualifications, person with disabilities.

      The point is to propose those people a non far away job to get a source of income and trainings to help them out of Professional and social exclusion.
      On this project CIRMAD will do his best to impose the integration clause to all his subcontractors.

  • Carpool

    • Positive Impact

      Developers are working to create an intranet for the mall’s staff. This intranet will host a carpool platform whose environmental and economic impacts are not to prove.

      The underneath parking mall is large enough to welcome the customers and people of the neighborhood which will help a lot since there is no other parking in the area. It would certainly improve the current situation of anarchic car park round the stadium.

      On Wednesday and weekend it will surely be full, but the mall closes at 8 PM. So, the operator is studying a subscription for the local residents with a privileged price. The parking will be functioning day and night involving the uselessness of another one.
      These opening hours and the potential subscription would overtake the limits of the mall as a favor for the whole area improving the global accessibility of the district for riparian people.

    Element Showcase

  • Biodiversity

    • Positive Impact

      The proponent took the services of a flora and fauna consulting firm, Naturalia, to achieve ecological inventory of the implantation site of the future shopping center. Based on the inventory, Naturalia has made a project of green spaces which increases the plant surface, but also the number of plant species. The project improves the biodiversity of the site.

      The project involves the installation of beehive on the rooftop. We are close to an association helping such initiatives.
      It will provide work and incomes for the beekeeper and might rise the clients reintroduction and conservation awareness of biodiversity in cities. The beekeeper could sell his products twice a year during special biodiversity events hosted by the mall.

      We can imagine a relationship with the nursery (to see below in Function E) proposing educational activities to children like the importance of bees in the life cycle of plants and the way to breed them with the participation of beekeeper.

      We are planning to set up a herbarium. All of the plan species implemented on the project will get an explanatory note on their origin, specification, features, purpose and cultivation method.

      On the roof, a special place will be dedicated to aromatic plants. Beyond the educational aspect, the point is to enhance the use of local products for the restaurant.

      The green space project proposes a plant wall 350m ², planters, green roofs. These different forms of vegetation create a pleasant visual environment but also humidify spaces and thus contribute to improving thermal comfort.

    Element Showcase

  • The waste water treatment plant

    • Positive Impact

      The Vélodrome eco-neighborhood will be connected to a collective heating network. This heat and cold network comes from renewable energy and passes near the waste water treatment plant. The planner built an interchange on the network to supply apartments, hotels, offices and the mall. The system forms a loop. The neighborhood waste waters become energy for the same district

      For users, this type of energy doesn’t change anything to the thermal environment or distribution. But the overall environmental balance, using the WWTP is a real gain of CO2. It will also guarantee a low and stable cost energy.

      The mall will be the biggest energy consumer of the collective heating network. Without his implementation, profitability was not ensured and therefore would not have been possible, depriving the Vélodrome eco-neighborhood projects economic and environmental benefits.

  • Materials

    • Positive Impact

      In the office part, under the mall AMENAGEUR control, we plan to set up Cradle to Cradle carpets in order to respect the global loop in the life of a material used in the mall. This could be a source of inspiration for other subcontractors to use Cradle to Cradle materials in their constructions.

  • Human services

    • Positive Impact

      The mall will host two services dedicated to customers, a day nursery and a caretaker’s lodge. The nursery will propose to host customers’ children during their shopping time, in order to facilitate the personal organization of the parents and to offer some activities to the children. The caretaker’s lodge will ensure two principal functions :

      - To keep in security goods of users and to permit them to stroll unrestrainedly
      - a “drive” service permitting to deliver purchases of customers directly to their home

      These two services will ensure a true support for the clients and will facilitate to organize themselves during and after their shopping time in the mall.

Approved on:

Centre commercial Prado Vélodrome