The overall project consists of the construction of two office buildings and a multifamily residential building on parcel 1.3 of the newly developed “La Cartoucherie” eco-district in Toulouse, France.
“La Cartoucherie”, as a flagship urban development project for the city of Toulouse, aspires to reconcile urban density with sustainable development, enabling its inhabitants to enjoy an innovative, collaborative and environmentally responsible way of life. Spread over 33 hectares (81 acres), the development zone is located at the threshold between the city centre and the outer suburbs of Toulouse. Parcel 1.3 is well-situated to take advantage of the urban links that connect this new eco-neighbourhood with the surrounding city.
Covering 2 949 m² (31,700 ft²), the parcel also provides 96 parking spaces.
"L'Empreinte" | Parcel 1.3, La Cartoucherie
“L’Empreinte” is a multifamily residence with a strong material character, defined by the light beige bricks that clad its externally insulated façade. Brick is a durable material that is deeply rooted in the architectural history of Toulouse. Nine stories tall and housing 57 apartments, the project takes on the character of a monolith that has been carved out in places to create shaded loggias. The inside of each loggia is finished with smooth render, contrasting with the brick exterior. Balconies and bow-windows add to the rhythm of the façades.
Controlling indoor thermal comfort in summer is a key design issue for residential buildings that do not use mechanical air conditioning. The building is wrapped with high performing external insulation that drastically reduces unwanted heat loss and gain due to thermal bridging. Solar heat gain is also controlled by the choice of window treatments and by the use of light, reflective colours in the exterior cladding. Temperature swings are further moderated by the thermal mass of the concrete floor slabs and party walls. The concrete stores the sun’s energy in winter and releases excess heat during the relatively cooler night-time temperatures in summer.
"L'Éclat" | Parcel 1.3, La Cartoucherie
“L’Eclat” is a new office building located facing the collector road at the south corner of parcel 1.3. The main portion of the building reaches six stories, while a wing that abuts on the adjacent residential building is lowered to three stories to allow sunlight to reach the central courtyard.
Metal is the dominant material. The exterior is clad with white metal siding panels, applied over external wall insulation. Depending the orientation of each façade, vertical or horizontal sun-shading systems help reduce solar heat gain. For instance, the south façade is protected by a system of external venetian blinds, while the east and west façades are equipped with fixed vertical louvers. On the north side, smaller openings give rhythm to the façade while framing views out onto the central courtyard.
"MSA Headquarters" | Parcel 1.3, La Cartoucherie
This five-story office building marks the entrance of the parcel with its strong materiality, straightforward geometry, and careful alignment of its street façade with that of its neighbour on the adjacent parcel. The ground floor is designed with permeability in mind, both physical and visual - a theme that is common to, and helps unite, the three buildings on the parcel. A network of halls and footpaths provide both views and easy movement between the streets, the central courtyard, and the pedestrian alley to the north. On the rooftop, the office tenants enjoy a large terrace, shaded by a pergola and looking out onto the adjacent park, Les jardins du Barry.
The exterior walls consist of structural concrete panels, with the carefully finished concrete left exposed on the inside and with integrated insulation and white polished concrete cladding on the outside. The concrete panels were prefabricated in order to achieve a high-quality and uniform finish. The façade is marked by a regular pattern of punched windows and smooth indents, creating a rhythm that reflects the regular layout of the interior office spaces. The smooth white concrete of the indents contrasts with the lightly patterned finish of the polished concrete panels. The regular rhythm of the façade and its subtle differences in surface quality create a significant effect that changes with the lighting conditions.