The site occupies an exceptional position on the edge of Toulouse, bordered to the north and east by green space. Situatedon former agricultural land, the immediate surroundings remain undeveloped. In line with plans for urban development, thenew buildings herald the look of the wholeneighborhood, particularly in terms of their alinement and their relationship withthe landscaping of the Touch river banks.
The project comprises 35 semi-collective housing units with basement parking. The unitsare divided into two groups ofbuildings, positioned along a central pedestrian path.Orientated east/west, their heights vary from Ground Floor +1 to GroundFloor +3. The indented forms were defined by assembling the different unit typologies - 1-bedroom to 3-bedroom. Thebuildings are alined with the new street to the north, opening up free space on the three other sides of the site.
The main entrance is on the road on the north side of the site, passing under a buildingthrough to the central pathwayaccessing the different buildings. A second pedestrianentrance on the south side provides access to the area shared betweenthe threedevelopments via the vegetable garden/orchard area at the far southern extremity of thesite. The apartments areaccessed via the voids between the buildings. This system ofdistribution creates semi-private access, serving a maximum oftwo apartments per floor.The spaces between the built volumes allow in natural light and provide visual openingsover thesurrounding landscape. The access provided to the individual homes and thatleading down to the basement constitutes acirculation system that is on a domestic scale.
The shared communal spaces (path, vegetable garden/orchard) are catalysts for socialinteraction. The atmosphere createdby the proximity and proportions of the buildings andtheir simple functionality are contributing factors to conviviality andcommunity spirit.
The arrangement of the buildings means that all the apartments are at least double-aspect, encouraging natural ventilation. The1- and 2-bedroom apartments are mainlyorientated east/west; the 3-bedroom duplexes, classic or inverted, are triple-aspect,predominantly opening to the south. All apartments have some form of outdoor space:
- 35 to 170m2 gardens for the ground floor apartments;
- 11 to 60m2 terraces or loggias for the upper floor apartments.
These private outdoor spaces encourage appropriation of the apartments. Designed asreal extra rooms, they ensure privacyin order to encourage use.
The facades follow the building method established at the very beginning of the project for the ideas competition. Theseparating walls are finished in pale render, the facades clad in finely veined, powder-coated anthracite-coloured steel sheets.This alternance of materials according to the orientation of the facades gives an identity to the project and breaks down thevolumes to ensure that they blend into the surroundings. The play of open/closed'accordeon' shutters adds to the animation ofthe facades, particularly on the path side.
Material Used :
1. JorisIde — cladding
2. Technal — windows
3. Tamiluz — shutters