Located in Saint Martin du Touch’s joint development zone, the project’s objective is the creation of 78 collective housing, 20 villas and communal landscape gardens.
The site of the Source de Lilhac project is located in a lush green setting on the banks of the Touch River on the western side of the Toulouse urban area, close to the Arc en Ciel ring road and the Ramassiers urban development (ZAC). The site is connected to the C line of the metropolitan public transport network as well as the Avenue Jean Jaures, one of the main entrance axes to the city center. The plot still bears the marks of its agricultural and viticultural past, gently sloping down to the Touch River and presents a beautiful landscape backdrop with tree-rich borders to the north along the Armurier Stream and the Touch River to the east.
Three blocks of intermediate housing, each block of a slightly different size but presenting the same design qualities, constitute the central part of the project. All the apartments are dual-faced and rise locally to a maximum of three levels above ground level. The spaces on the third floor are all facing the river and offer double height terraces facing the landscape. The three blocks are each organized around an urban courtyard, a reinterpretation of the “toulousain” courtyard that concentrates all the amenities and building services, the main hallway, access to the different stairways, parking spaces and rubbish collection. Pergolas minimizing the visual impact of the parking areas shade the courtyards, accessed from the main street. The construction blocks are positioned perpendicularly to the main street, as were the traditional agricultural houses.
This allows east-west facing dual-aspect apartments. Each apartment is accessed through open stairways, flooded with light and opening up to the landscape, fractioning the built volumes into smaller blocks. The stairways thus create passageways between the courtyards and the communal landscaped gardens. Between each built block, generous and landscaped gardens take place and spill out towards the riverside with its riparian woodlands. Wide shrub beddings are planter at the base of the façades to create distance and privacy for the apartments on the ground floor. Further down, between the housing blocks and the riverbank, allotment gardens are landscaped on the natural and unspoilt spaces along the riverbank.
Each apartment has a private garden on top of their private terrace. The private gardens can be accessed either from the shared gardens in between each block or from the shared gardens along the riverbank. More
than a mere nod to agricultural past of the project site, the allotment gardens create a sense of community, located close to other public leisure areas such as playgrounds and walking paths along the river.The façades are all designed along one simple principle: the courtyard façades present a light grey metal cladding whilst the outer façades are finished with white rendering on inner faces of the loggias and light grey cladding on the exterior faces of the loggias. The same cladding, but perforated, is used to create the loggia railings.
Each block is distinguished by a white concrete frame marking the construction volume with is double-slanted roof. The tile roof is embedded behind this frame forming the edge of the roof. These concrete frames are also used to define the lateral façades and form the base of the blocks. This contemporary reinterpretation of a traditional toulousain agricultural archetype is particularly appropriate on this site, still bearing traces of its agricultural past.
On the northern and southern edges of the plot, two ensembles of row houses frame the project and offer twenty individual plots accessed through a private road. Two types of four bedroom townhouses create an alternate façade rhythm and follow the natural slope of the land, creating a staggered roofline down towards the riverbank. All the townhouses are dual-aspect, have a private garden and a south-facing terrace. The interior organisation offers adaptability by transforming an office into a fifth bedroom. The riparian woodlands along the Armurier stream riverbanks are completely preserved, and as such, each townhouse has a direct access from their garden to the riverbank footpath.