Grand Toulouse Residential Development

 

program Housing development & Public Facililies
location Toulouse, FRANCE
developer Grand Toulouse
architect aotu architecture office ltd.
surface 500 000㎡(far: 2)
budget -
schedule competition 2011 june

 

Articulations VERTébrales is a proposal for a high density urban development. The project interacts with the context like a graft by binding to the existing city fabric.
Based on a green dynamic structure, the project creates social interactions at different level of scale: the vicinity, and the urban block itself.Articulations VERTébrales est une proposition pour un modèle de tissu urbain à forte densité. Ce projet s’appui à deux niveaux d’échelles – le quartier et l’ilot – sur une structure végétale dynamique qui agit comme un greffon en se liant au tissu existant.
CITY: analysis and goals

e11 raises the question of rebuilding the city over the city: the relationship and dialogue of the project with its surroundings.
The question is not to create an iconic urban development but to propose a spatial organization that is part of the city.
This project revolves around the idea of turning post-industrial areas into a true dialogue with the surrounding residential areas. It takes advantages of all permabilities of the site as a support for a spatial organization: extending the roads, creating green spaces, pedestrian paths etc. All these links will create and smooth the assimilation of the project .
As an alternative to the urban sprawl and high rise developments, the project is based on the idea of a homogenous density of architecture and green.

 

SITE : an architectural an programatic answer

The project will begin with a dialogue between the site borders and its periphery. To the East, the site is confronted with an urban structure of a city center. To the south, it faces imposing dwellings buildings that will make any relation with the canal impossible. To the north, the site ends with the railways creating an insurmountable border. To the East, the site is confronted with small houses. These different face-to-face will encourage a relationship between the new structures and the existing environment.
The main obstacle to the development is located at the south of the site: the canal is only distant from a few hundred meters from the site, however, it is not a structural component and does not bring yet any added value. The Continuation of streets from the city center, over the canal, passing by the high rise development and progressing on the site until the railroads will become the support of our proposal.
The creation of green stripes, based on these axis, will become the support of our urban structure. To these green corridor will be added vital component of functionality and quality of space:
– Walking paths, connected to the bus lines and the new tramway will allow the access to the dwellings, commercial spaces, offices and city facilities newly created.
– Cycle tracks irrigate the whole project to create an alternative to car transportation.
– Resting areas, game fields, green spaces, private or public gardens will mix all the inhabitants and users of all ages of the district. It is to this notion of green belt/structure at the scale of the neighborhood that refers the Articulations VERTébrales

AN ALTERNATIVE TO CARS : beyond the parkings

The project rejects the idea of building a parking lot that will emphasize the image of cars in our society. Instead, we propose to organize the parking as a link between the building in the heart of each plot. These bands are 16m width and totally re-convertible into office space. Indeed, They will also benefit from generous natural lighting.
These parking are the base of a new potential for the plot. The roof is getting green and becoming a space of activity and sociability. It is a melting pot of all the inhabitants, workers, employees, hotel hosts, students… The project goes beyond the constraint of the parking spaces by adding some value in terms of quality of living. This is the so called Articulations VERTébrales at the tscale of the plot.

 

ARCHITECTURE/DWELLINGS : typologies and diversity

We have defined so far the concept of AV: conviviality, life and sociability area, but also a circulation and connection belt that run through the site at two different levels of scale: the district and the plot.
The articulations VERTébrales are developed alongside a North-South axis, from the City center to the suburbs. On the opposite, the architecture is organized as an ‘in between’, following an East-West axis. In this way, all the buildings are connected by the articulations VERTébrales to both the vicinity and all the other buildings of the plot.
The Building structure is organized in stripes between which green areas will be created. The gardens organization will follow a hierarchy going from public to private. These interconnected gardens will create a HYPER green environment, which goal is to compete with the suburban developments.
The architecture is based on large variety of typologies and programs. Based on the same grid, the different part of the program can enlarge, widen, or rise up to match with their functionality: dwellings, offices, commercial areas, hotels and public buildings.
More into details, to focus only on the dwellings, we notice that some apartments enjoy a private garden whiles some others benefit from roof-tops or terrace. The project will develop a wide range of accommodation ranging from studios to the 6 bedroom apartment, respectively from 37 to 200m ².
These typologies will cater with the needs of a large variety of population: single parent family, students, large families, elderly people etc.

At different scales – the city blocks and architecture – the articulations VERTébrales connect the various components of city. They act as bridges across limits, seams between various districts: it is a proposal for an integrated model of dense urban development.