Multi Housing / Multi Housing in ZAC Monges, Tolouse
The plot stands on a vertex of the ordinance of the ZAC Monges in the community of Cornebarrieu, which belongs to the metropolitan area of Toulouse. This is a new urban experiment that proposes a lifestyle in contact with nature without renouncing certain interventional density. The proximity of the airport, of the Airbus plant and of all of the auxiliary industries make a programmatic proposal of periurban dwellings for many of its workers and middle management viable.
The plot is the last in a series of elements connected by a one-way parkway that feeds the different condominiums of the ZAC. Located at one of its ends, it fills a forest clearing with a gentle but constant slope with a stream flowing around it. The 200×100 metre plot faces south along its length and represents a cutting in the green mass of the surrounding forest.
The project proposes a geometric carpet based on the region’s agricultural layouts. Systematic ploughing of the plot which, by turning 45 degrees in the right direction and through the decomposition and volumetric displacement of the volumes of its dwellings, ends up offering an abstract system in which the boundaries between the public and private are blurred, as well as between what is natural and artificial.
The generated intermediate areas build a community area capable of relating to the scenery through its transversal porosities. When connected, they offer multiple places for meeting with different degrees of intimacy, from the private patios of the dwellings to the areas of circulation and coexistence.
The houses give priority to good orientation and views, and break down into a simple programme of 2, 3 and, exceptionally on the corners and facing the forest, 4 bedrooms. Their rooftops cut the sky as the treetops might, repetitive but varied at the same time. Their orientation and decomposition prevent the alignment from multiplying the shadows and generate spaces for privacy. The system is anchored to its surroundings by means of a small complex of collective dwellings that forms a scenic atrium at the entrance.
The materiality is simple and pursues ambitious environmental objectives common to these kinds of operations: exterior insulation, natural aluminium carpentry and stratified wood panels for doors and sliding elements, whose vertical striping adds to that of the PLX-type reel steel plate ceilings referring us to the project’s territorial establishment. The unbuilt areas play a part in this simplicity, both in the floors, in the lighting and in the careful introduction of trees with shadows and contrasts underlining the balance between the artificial and nature, a metaphor of the proposed lifestyle and architecture, both intertwined with the scenery.