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Potain cranes do the heavy lifting on Mirabeau Tower

September 19, 2022  By Don Horne

Two Potain MR 295 luffing jib cranes are leading the construction of a major new building in Marseille, France, designed to transform the city’s skyline and help regenerate the waterfront area with 21,800 m2 of modern office space.

Work began on the Mirabeau Tower in July 2020 and, once complete, the 85 m high, 21-story office block will become one of the city’s tallest skyscrapers.

The first Potain MR 295 crane was erected on a Y800 chassis at a free-standing height of 55.8 m. It will climb every month until it reaches its final working height of 85.8 m, with three anchor points securing it to the building.

The second MR 295 was erected on a ZY854 chassis, which is mounted on a 15 m concrete portal to give an initial free-standing height of 31.12 m. This crane will also climb throughout construction, eventually reaching 79.45 m with four anchor points securing it to the building.



A first for France

The cranes’ configuration includes AK801 anchor frames, which are bing used for the first time in France on this project. These latest generation connectors boost performance by increasing the free-standing height of the crane and minimizing the number of anchor points that are required.

Léon Grosse, the contractor leading work on the Mirabeau Tower project, is a long-time user of Potain cranes. The family-owned business even owns a fleet of around 30 topless Potain cranes with capacities ranging from 150 to 400 mt, although the two MR 295 cranes the company is using on this project are on loan from Loga.

Given the particularly confined nature of the jobsite, Léon Grosse’s lifting advisor Damien Le Huec felt the Potain MR 295 luffing jib crane was the right model for the work.

“This model has already proven itself on many construction sites,” he said. “It has a strong load curve and is adapted to the team’s needs on this specific site.”

Léon Gosse was founded in Savoie and is now a major player in the French construction industry. It employs 2,000 people and recorded revenue of €650m in 2021.


Minimizing environmental impact

Throughout its 140 years in business, the company has developed a reputation for overcoming technical challenges and minimizing the environmental footprint of projects. It will combine both these skills again on the Mirabeau Tower project.

The project is striving to reach an “Excellent” level in its HQE Sustainable Building certification. Glass and aluminum panel facades will change position according to the trajectory of the sun, while opaque awnings will control light and noise levels to help keep the building occupants comfortable. The Mirabeau Tower will also feature a marine geothermal energy cooling system, which promises 70% lower emissions than conventional cooling technology.

The project is due for completion at the end of 2023.

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