"La Cité des Chercheurs"
"La Cité des Chercheurs" : a next generation student residence within an historical district of Toulouse, France.
Built around the pioneer airmail runway of Latécoère and within the new Toulouse Montaudran Aérospace area, this new student housing project is part of a global urban plan aimed to generate a rapid urban renewal of the district.
Formerly composed of old landing tracks and warehouses, this site is a long and narrow parcel running alongside of the "Forum", a major public space in the making.
This project takes the form of an unsophisticated volume with outstanding dimensions. It has a horizontal design underlined by a massive 7 meters setback base, which create a transparency between the Caroline Aigle street and the future Forum. The ground floor consists of specific features such as co-working spaces and a chill-out area, in addition of several store spots. Two thirds of the structure is 25 meters high with 9 levels. The last third reaches 35 meters and 13 storeys, generating therefore a balanced architectural composition.
With a total of 565 beds, the residence concentrates 485 student rooms, with 465 one-room flats and 20 six-room collocations. To keep under control the perceived scale of the building, a scheme of vast windows gathering four rooms was developed: four carpentries are built within the same frame and all the surrounding surfaces are covered by a metallic cladding. Completing this design, double level voids set the rhythm of the facade, offering qualitative shared spaces to the residents, such as outdoor co-working areas and loggias opened towards the park or the Forum. The yellow colour was chosen to help identify these spaces as hollows in the heap of the structure.
The terrace at the rooftop, taking advantages of these remarkable dimensions, becomes a real promenade, with a garden overlooking the public space of the Forum.