The project’s objective is to renovate and expand a car park in Toulouse, including a new circulation pattern and a modernized parking system (Occitanie region, France).The Victor Hugo “Market-Car Park” is situated near Place Wilson, not far from Place du Capitole, in the historic center of Toulouse. It enjoys a favorable location near major shopping areas, especially the rue Alsace Lorraine. Historically, the site was home to the “Wood Market”, and served over the years as a market for wood and animal feed and later as a flea market. In 1886, the market was renamed after the French writer Victor Hugo. By 1892, it was part of a network of three metal-framed market halls serving the city: Victor Hugo, Les Carmes, and Saint-Cyprien. Of the three, Victor Hugo was the largest and most modern. In 1959, the metal market hall was demolished to make way for a resolutely modern market structure—the city’s first combined market and car park, its first paid parking structure, and its largest covered market. The new structure was designed by the architect Pierre Lafitte, a native of Toulouse and an associate at the architecture firm Génard. Its design places it squarely within the modern movement, both in its architectural language and in its relationship to the city. Halfway between machine and landmass, the building serves not only to store cars but also to put them on display as they circulate up and down. The rhythm of the parked cars is reflected in the serrated form of the façade, which in turn recalls the rhythm of the windows and balconies of the surrounding buildings. The photographer Dieuzaide captured a series of images of the project that can be compared in their geometric complexity to the paintings of Vasarely.
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