OLYMPE DE GOUGES UNIVERSITY STUDENT HOUSING, TOULOUSE

ppa • architectures as Architects

The project works at three scales:

the campus, the buildings, the lodging.

Its ambition is to create an active and welcoming place to live, where each resident can appropriate their own space.


An open, urban project, an active campus

Two groups of building free up a park, which addresses the neighbourhood and encompasses the various student residences (1,000 lodgings in all). In the lee of the hill and extending out from the large central meadow, a communal living building houses rooms for student organisations. These facilities provide a structure for student activity and social life, nurturing conditions for an active, community campus.


A simple, rational and frugal architecture, generous buildings.

The new buildings are suspended above the ground to facilitate the communal use of the campus. Each building wraps around a central garden with broad walkways (a vertical extension to the campus). Generous and welcoming, they provide access to and extend the private space of the individual lodgings.


The restrained architecture of the project deliberately leaves space for individual appropriation by developing potential spaces

To the ancient, cloister-like arrangement of the volumes, replies the abstraction of the panels, which serve both as shutters and as cladding to the facade. Their dimensions rhythm the entire project, changing the perception of scale and diluting the beehive effect that might otherwise arise in the repetitive stacking of 615 lodgings. Always changing, this outer skin reacts as much to the reflections of its surroundings, as to the habits of its occupants.


A comfortable and flexible lodging

A living space to be appropriated

The lodging (16m2) is a standard space that has not been over prescribed (neither cell, nor miniature apartment) so as to remain freely appropriable by its occupant. It is furnished so as to enable reorganisation for individual use and lifestyles, while freeing up living space.


The Ponsan typeface was specially designed for the signage of the Crous Olympe de Gouges university residence

It was then offered to the administrative staff and students for use in internal communication on the campus.



Project history – NLM (AMO 2018)


The project for the urban renewal of the PONSAN BELLEVUE university campus in Toulouse began in March 2013, when the student housing association CROUS de Toulouse launched a call for projects.

To best respond to this, NOUVEAU LOGIS MERIDIONAL put together a team composed of:

- three Toulouse-based architectural practices: PPA (lead architect), SCALENE and AFA

- specialist partners: EXECO (quantity surveyors and site management), EGIS (general engineering consultant), ATP (landscape architecture), A+B (designers) and Documents (graphic design – signage).


Thanks to the collaborative work achieved, the team was selected for the project on 15 November 2013. The collaboration continued throughout the design phase and enabled the production of a completed tender package in only 7 months, without neglecting the various needs of those involved, notably the CROUS, future manager of the residence, the students, and also the Paul Sabatier IUT (University Institute of Technology), as well as the local inhabitants, the project's neighbours.

 

Thus, demolition works were started on 1 August 2014, with completion of 327 student lodgings and a communal life building in August 2016. Phase two (295 lodgings), built in a record 12 months, was completed in September 2017.

 

This record delivery, without neglecting quality, was the result of the successful collaboration between the different players – client, architect, contractors, manufacturers and building end-user – throughout the project.


PRINCIPAL COMPONENT(S) OF THE PROGRAMME: OFFICES, HOUSING, CULTURAL FACILITIES ...

The brief: 600 units of 16m2 student accommodation and communal student facilities


Two buildings of 300 individual lodgings surround a large garden. The buildings are lifted up to liberate a communal ground level housing student services (caretaker's lodge, halls, reception).

In consultation with student organisations, the various facilities provided by the communal living building were developed to incorporate a laundry, a resources centre/workshop and a sports field.



CONSTRAINTS OF THE SITE: (URBAN OR RURAL, CLIMATE, ORIENTATION, DIMENSIONS, SLOPE ...)

At the foot of the hills on the edge of Toulouse, functional blocks of flats have been demolished to make way for dense residential developments.

The site is situated on the edge of a university campus, alongside small apartment buildings and private housing. The topography of the site made it possible to arrange the student buildings on higher ground without hiding the hills. The terracing extends out from the buildings through a large central garden that gradually descends down to the neighbouring IUT (University Institute of Technology).

Its scale echoes that of the IUT's park: pedestrians take a familiar path.



THE MAIN IDEA BEHIND THE PROJECT AND ITS PRINCIPAL APPLICATIONS (ARCHITECTURALLY)

In clearing a platform previously occupied by functionalist apartment blocks, the design team was careful to take into account the way the site was being used by local residents, as well as the way it might be used by its future occupants.


The project works at three scales: the campus, the buildings, the lodging.

Its ambition is to create an active and generous place to live, where each resident can appropriate their room individually.


An open, urban project, an active campus

Two groups of buildings free up a park, which encompasses the various student residences (1,000 lodgings in all). A hub of student activity and social life, it provides the environment for an active, community campus.


A simple, frugal architecture, generous buildings.

The new buildings are suspended above the ground to facilitate the communal use of the campus. Each building wraps around a central garden with broad walkways (a vertical extension to the campus). Generous and welcoming, they provide access to and extend the private space of the lodgings.


A flexible lodging, a living space to be appropriated

The lodging is a standard space (neither cell, nor miniature apartment) that is freely appropriable by its occupant. It is furnished so as to enable reorganisation for individual use and lifestyles, while freeing up living space.


The restrained architecture of the project deliberately leaves space for individual appropriation by developing potential spaces.


To the ancient, cloister-like arrangement of the volumes, replies the abstraction of the panels, which serve both as shutters and as cladding on the facade. Their dimensions rhythm the entire project and dilute the beehive effect that might otherwise arise in the repetitive stacking of 615 lodgings. Always changing, this outer skin reacts as much to the reflections of its surroundings, as to the habits of its occupants.




A WORD ON THE NATURE OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE CLIENT AND THE ARCHITECT:

Co-designed, constant exchange between client and end-users

Multi-member team (3 architectural practices, an industrial designer and a graphic designer)

Project for Nouveau Logis Méridional (Groupe SNI) > 35 years > CROUS (French student housing association)




BUILDING SYSTEM AND MATERIALS


The structure of the residences is in concrete. Left unfinished in the circulation spaces, it provides considerable inertia and acoustic insulation between the bedrooms.

The principal skin is formed of a timber frame clad in metal panels in a range of three different finishes, from matt to satin.

This choice of construction comes with a high quality of assembly and finish, for very large-size objects, within a limited budget and timeframe.


Prefabrication - Execo


Targets for completion were set by the client right from competition stage: three years for demolitions and rebuilding

Consequently we resorted to prefabricated facades and bathrooms.


The facades are made up of timber modules prefabricated in the workshop, fixed directly to the building's concrete structure as soon as the main frame was sufficiently advanced. Each panel encloses four bedrooms, advancing at an average rhythm of a floor a week.

The last building, delivered for the start of the academic year in 2017, was built in just 13 months.


The facade contractor was required to apply for approval for compliance of works with building regulations, with validation by the checking authority with regards fire, acoustic and thermal aspects of the regulations.

Facade build-up from exterior towards interior: the prefabricated facade is composed of Alucobond metal rain-screen cladding/ Fermacell panels/ insulation/ vapour barrier/ plasterboard lining.


For the bathrooms, Altor's prefabricated modules of polyester and fibreglass were used. These were installed on each floor as the main structure went up, and plumbed in as partition walls were installed. This represented a significant timesaving at the internal fit-out phase.




The urban / landscaping project - ATP


The CROUS's project for the demolition–rebuilding of the Ponsan–Bellevue university campus enabled a renewal of the atmosphere and image of the entire campus.

This project of urbanism and landscaping aimed to reinforce links between the campus and the landscape of the neighbouring Rangueil hills, reinforcing the existing urban permeability between the university restaurant, the IUT and the surrounding neighbourhoods. A large landscaped area at the centre gives a unity to the entire development, extending the IUT gardens and defining the urban scale of the campus. It becomes a setting for community life, encouraging exchange. This area 'completes' the campus by opening towards the rediscovered panorama of the slopes of Rangueil and Pech David – a topographical and historical landmark for the city of Toulouse.

The architectural implantation of the new buildings integrates and enhances the existing residences, forming a homogenous ensemble around a campus centre. The residential blocks formed by two buildings are linked by a shared ground floor, part of the 'active strip' developed between the campus and the IUT. The lodgings are distributed on the upper floors around a central planted courtyard.

The circulation routes form a network between the buildings (existing and new), but also a grid at the scale of the university campus. Careful attention was given to the topography and levels of the site so as to prioritise pedestrians within the campus. Consequently, residents can readily move from one building to another on a continuous level.

The landscaping varies according to different kinds of spaces, their uses, and the particular atmosphere to be created. For each of these, a palette of materials and plants has been selected that remains consistent with the overall landscaping of the Ponsan–Bellevue campus.

The ground floors within the blocks adopt the same materials as are used for the 'active strip'. These play a role in the general life of the campus, while providing a space and atmosphere that is more private.

The car parks are planted in the form of a grid, which also defines the edge of the campus where it meets the neighbouring residential area. They are equipped with bioswales and rainwater recuperation.



The room and its furnishing - A+B


The lodging (16m2) is a standard space that has not been over prescribed (neither cell, nor miniature apartment) so as to remain freely appropriable by its occupant. It is furnished so as to enable reorganisation for individual use and lifestyles, while freeing up living space.


The furniture reflects the main requirements: cooking, working, entertaining, relaxing ... and makes it possible to free up the living area.

The project is committed to solid and sustainable materials. Beyond the technical aspects, the objective was the durability of the installation in terms of use and aesthetic, its adaptability to the different lifestyles, cultures and personalities of the students: to give it character without over-prescribing.


The concept of the bed as a space enables different uses and fits with the overall open approach.


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