Between the canal and the railway, the site of the prize winning project proposal by RNDM Architecture is currently enclosed. Therefore, their project strives to reconnect it with the city, which is why they rely on strong structural elements to both organize the territory and make it attractive. The design is set up as a new urban landscape that draws on elements of identity that constitute the urban tissue of old Toulouse. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The strong structural elements include:
le Mail commerçant (spine of the site)
le Quai équipé (It will be a buffer space between the rails and the new neighborhood and a true sign of the city entrance from the train.)
la Halle culturelle (memory of the site)
le Parvis minéral (place of recreation, leisure and interaction)
la Prairie urbaine (green space of the area)
le Quartier résidentiel (Dense and lively)
From a regular frame which allows us to organize the new district in a rational and rigorous way, while answering the diverse needs of density, scale, hierarchical organization of flows, contribution of light, we incorporate a fragmentation inspired by the plan of the old town which allows us to generate diverse urban events, perspectives and places. We want to enhance the unexpected, to create poetry of the place and a pleasure to cross the city. It becomes an assumed density, which creates social links as an alternative to the urban spreading.
In a gradual change of scale our project blends into the existing with buildings of 3 to 6 floors, to interact with the major operations of the canal and with the planning of “faubourgs”. Each block follows the same structure in order to organize the area and create a random thought and feel. The distortion arises from the interior of the island to expand its open spaces and appropriate media activities. Linearity is maintained on the exteriority of the block for better permeability of the site.
We strongly believe that the city is not built by “enclaves”. Urban planning aims to create a sociable neighborhood based on shared spaces. Roof tops of building are cut to provide space for terraces, studios, greenhouses, sporting rooms, etc. On particular floors, between buildings, there are community gardens, offering a space to breathe.
The density associated with the mix of functions encourages local travel on foot or by bike. The combination of these 2 elements is the key of the mastery of the urban spreading by thinking in a joint way of the questions of town planning and mobility.
Architects: RNDM Architecture
Location: Toulouse, France
Team: Estelle Bourreau, Aurélie Fabre, Jb Coltier
Competition: Europan 11
Result: prize winner