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Planning and landscape intervention in the Parc des Expositions de Toulouse

Landscape intervention inspired by agricultural tradition and designed from the logic of water, achieving a self-sufficient complex.

Parc d’exposicions a Toulouse (MEETT)
Parc d’exposicions a Toulouse (MEETT)

Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre (MEETT)

A landscaping strategy based on water management in the surroundings of the new Exhibition Park in Toulouse (France), a complex designed by the OMA (Rem Koolhaas) + Puig-Pujol + Taillandier + Ingerop offices

Authors

Batlleiroig Arquitectura. Enric Batlle Durany, Joan Roig i Duran, Iván Sánchez Fabra – Architect

Team

Guillem Matallanas, Mario Súñer Díaz, Simon Gallibard – Architect / Javier Zaldívar – Architect and landscape architect / Dolors Feu – Agricultural engineer and landscape architect

Promoter

SPLA Toulouse Métropole

Location

Project status

Built

Start date

2011

Finish date

2020

Total area

190.000 m2
© Simon Gabillard

A COMPACT MINI CITY

The MEETT is conceived as a new gateway to the city that will host exhibitions, conferences, and concerts. With a built-up area of ​​338,000 m2 within an area of ​​approximately 130 ha, the project has been designed as a compact mini-city (as opposed to the large extensions of exhibition parks) to preserve the environment of the French countryside.

Instead of expanding over the entire available area (a mosaic of abandoned or sporadically exploited agricultural fields), the project focuses on a 2.8km-long, 320m-wide “strip” crossed by the RD902 highway. This band will serve as an area to house future uses and will act as a link between the Garonne River and the Airbus 380 factory. The 660 m long and 24 m high building takes on a monumental scale in its size, but at yet subtle in its overall impact.

© Simon Gabillard

A COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABLE DRAINAGE

The landscaping project values ​​this compactness with a humble and highly graphic intervention proposal that takes advantage of the spaces located between the main flow infrastructures of the site and the building and proposing an action based on the management of rainwater.

© Simon Gabillard

THREE SEQUENTIAL FORESTS

Linear furrow shapes inspired by existing agricultural structures are replicated and subtly inserted into the path of water through the free spaces. These green structures host a Mediterranean, continental, and Atlantic type of low forest vegetation, sequentially, reflecting the particular condition of Toulouse, a meeting of these 3 macroclimates. These structures also allow the creation of eco-systems capable of maintaining humidity and favoring the evapotranspiration of the vegetation. The water ends its way in large retention ponds and lagoons where it is laminated and filtered by phyto-purification, on its way to the river.

The ensemble offers a kinetic landscape to the daily users of the main infrastructures, capable of dialoguing with the monumental scale of the building and framing the urban piece of the PEX as the gateway to the metropolis of Toulouse.

© Simon Gabillard